It’s clear that cloud technology has become a mainstream solution for many businesses and individuals. Despite its incredible popularity, the cloud is still often misunderstood. Users who want to make the most from cloud computing should have a clear idea about how it works, what are its benefits or costs, and what kind of problems it solves.
Here are the five most persistent misconceptions about cloud computing, clarified to help you understand the technology and use it to your advantage.
1. Infrastructure location and ownership
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This is a mix-up deriving from lack of understanding when it comes to differences between the public and private cloud. Hosted services have always allowed enterprises to use data infrastructures of others – mostly as a way to cut costs. This holds true for all public cloud computing environments.
Private cloud environments, on the other hand, provide more options. Enterprises opting for a private cloud can use someone else’s infrastructure, but can also choose from a host of potential ownership and location configurations exclusive to private cloud environments.
Among such options you’ll find:
1. Enterprise owns hardware, and it’s located in a data centre (previously it was called co-lo, or colocation)
2. Provider owns hardware, and it’s located in a data centre (otherwise known as “dedicated” infrastructure because the enterprise won’t share it with any other businesses)
It’s worth noting that the public cloud follows this configuration as well, but differs in the fact that the hardware is shared among many enterprises, while hardware in a private cloud is only accessible by one organisation.
3. Enterprise owns hardware, and it’s located on-site (for instance, in a data centre at your office).
2. The public cloud can be easily breached
Yes, the public cloud is publicly accessible, but this doesn’t mean that every single user on the public internet will be able to access your infrastructure. Many enterprises worry about the issue of cloud security and according to experts this problem has defectively curbed the adoption of cloud technologies in many sectors.
Still, in order to stay secure in the public cloud, you should remember that there’s a shortage of highly-trained professionals who possess skills allowing them to secure cloud applications. That’s why in general public cloud environments stand a relatively higher chance at being configured inappropriately and exposed to breaches. Such mistakes are more difficult to make when working on private data centres. Of course, none of those are fully secured against breaches.
3. Payment methodology
One of the most important advantages of the cloud is the fact that there’s just one monthly payment which can be easily incorporated into an operating budget of an enterprise. It doesn’t matter which environment you choose, costs will stay the same month-to-month in public, private or hybrid cloud, allowing enterprises to improve their technology budgeting and planning.
And yet, many enterprises are afraid that the cloud might generate additional costs. Before cloud computing, enterprises would pay a stable fee for hosted services as well, but that fee didn’t cover the sort of the infrastructure which accompanied these services. Paying for cloud environments, you’re paying for both services and infrastructure which require no capital investment.
4. Cloud providers are spying on user activity
Next to cloud security, this is a classic fear of both enterprises and individual users. Everyone considers their privacy – including cloud providers. It’s safe to say that the entire cloud computing sector could collapse if someone caught a provider snooping around their files. What providers focus on is building efficient security mechanisms which guarantee that data won’t be accessible to anyone – not even them!
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Enterprises often feel that relying entirely on outsourced IT infrastructure is a fast way to lose control over data. But this is another misconception about cloud computing – just because they’re delegating the task of managing their data infrastructure to another party doesn’t mean that it will move beyond their control.
5. The cloud can be scaled automatically
This is a misconception which can seriously affect enterprise growth. Cloud doesn’t guarantee the possibility of scaling up every single aspect of company operations. It’s true that pure computing power can be scaled up most of the time, but the same doesn’t hold for enterprise applications, for instance.
If you expect future growth of your venture, you should definitely make sure that applications are developed to allow scalability in the cloud. Such apps should be modular with their functionality split up into independent commands, enabling you to manage, configure and maintain more servers in case the app requires them.
adoption of the cloud addresses more than just technological enterprise needs
The confusion around cloud computing concepts is a serious problem which affects the adoption rates of this cutting-edge solution. Industry jargon or lack of consistent information available on the web make it even more difficult. As soon as managers realise, however, that adoption of the cloud addresses way more enterprise needs than just technological ones, they’ll be ready to delve deeper into the cloud and discover that all issues listed the above are pure myths.