A recent series of tests by Network World over the course of a year examined how well cloud-based services delivered on promises to clients, and found that overall, cloud companies are doing what they should be.
Many cloud supporters view the cloud and its services as being both mutable and disposable, an attitude that is a far cry from the days in which software and hardware were cared for and coaxed until they had to be laboriously replaced.
Now, Network World has found that many cloud services can help companies save money and become more flexible, though there are areas – such as security – that still require cloud companies do be more proactive.
In tests of private external clouds, the company found that while prices were high, services often matched the level of money that was being spent. Vendors were able to easily set up virtual appliance routers and VPNs, and while the servers were generally favorable in terms of performance, encryption of any private cloud data is recommended.
Physical security was also examined, and it was determined that many providers (though not all) had a Type II Statement on Auditing Standards, which refers to a sanctioned presentation of the company’s controls that is audited on a yearly basis. While not a guarantee, this statement can be an indication the company knows what it is doing.
Storage proved to be interesting, and Network World found that uploads were faster than downloads by a large margin and that speeds were greater at night. So far, the cloud can’t compare with physical, on-site storage.
While the cloud has a distance to go before making it to truly mainstream, most providers are delivering on their promises.