Most companies know more than they think about the cloud, but are often confused by the hype. Despite the new functionality and scalability of cloud architecture, businesses need to ignore the fluff and focus on what really matters.
The biggest problem many companies have with the concept of the cloud is security. Recent problems with the Amazon EC2 network and the PlayStation network have led some pundits to panic, claiming that what they’d been predicting all along about catastrophic failure had come to pass.
Here’s the truth of the matter – the cloud isn’t perfect. This is something companies know intrinsically, but that advertising and the smoke that comes with it tends to detract from. Businesses know the kinds of questions they need to ask cloud providers, which are the same as they would ask any other provider, but are worried about not understanding the answer.
Amazon didn’t correspond much with its customers before the EC2 outage, but if they had, the message would have been “everything is just fine, let us handle it.” In large part, this is how a provider should operate – they should take the stress off of a company by handling most of the details of a service.
Where the breakdown comes is with cloud flexibility and scalability. Cloud services are described in a way that many consumers don’t understand, even though they comprehend the underlying technology.
The key is to treat a cloud provider like any other – look at actual information about uptime and costs, and ask questions if there are answers that don’t make sense. Above all, don’t treat the cloud as infallible or impenetrable. It isn’t, and understanding that is the first step in dispelling cloud hype.