Cloud computing is a term that is getting thrown around a great deal these days, but is often not properly defined. Companies think they know what providers mean when they say cloud, but what is heard and what is meant can often be radically different. While there are still a lack of absolute standards for the cloud and its inner workings, there are a number of concepts for companies to consider that help bring the concept of the cloud into better focus.
1. Performance comes – at a price
Cloud vendors promise scalability as one of the main selling points of the service over simple virtualization, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be slowdown on cloud servers or high latency issues. Users can always pay for more service, but must be careful to monitor exactly how that performance is being used.
2. Security on the perimeter doesn’t cut it
Companies have been warned again and again about the so-called “insecurity” of the cloud, and after recent public cloud failures, this has become a high-priority concern. But security measures that deal with simply the “outside” of a cloud won’t work. Data control needs to move from files to servers and even in the data itself to keep it safe.
3. Think free
Free to create, destroy or alter – a very different mentality than traditional enterprise IT management. With cloud servers, entire networks don’t have to come down when maintenance is needed. Applications and data can be migrated, and companies can be far more flexible with their time.
The cloud isn’t an end-all solution, but the concepts of scalable performance, managed security and the ability to be agile in deployment can give companies insight into the current cloud landscape.