The last five years have seen hype reach new heights as the cloud is touted as the solution to all problems on the Internet and apparently the answer to solving things like world hunger and apathy of teenagers in school. Kidding aside, the cloud has been given such a high value that many companies have begun to wonder what exactly is fact and what is fiction when it comes to this new technology. Can it really do everything pundits say it can?
In a word, no. The cloud represents a massive, public option that will eventually blend security, compliance and reliability in a way that will allow a company to shift all of their data out of physical storage and into a medium where they do not have to pay for power or maintenance. Currently, such a setup does not exist, but its precursor – the virtual private server – is going strong.
Companies are seeing the value in making a change to at least partially virtualized servers thanks to lower costs and more centralized data access, but still have valid concerns about security and capacity issues that even VPS providers are developing solutions for. Even backing up or moving a virtual server is a difficult prospect on a regular basis, and a whole-hog move to the cloud is simply not possible at this time.
In a similar vein, VPS choices were heralded as the next big thing just prior to the development of the cloud and expectations were that all companies would move to them as quickly as they could. By the end of 2012, predictions put only 1/5 servers as being on virtual machines. VPS is evolving, as is the cloud, but utopia has not yet arrived.