5 Misconceptions About Cloud Computing

Words by: +Jared Stauffer

What is the Cloud? Is it this strange nebulus black hole where your data is stored? No, and it doesn’t have to be that confusing. The Cloud is simply an IT service provided in a data center. So if your data is stored “in the Cloud” then it is stored on a server (computer) that sits in a data center. (Data centers are large, carefully controlled computer rooms located throughout the world.)

Here are five common misconceptions about the Cloud.

1. My servers/applications will be less secure in the Cloud.

This is simply not true and may come from people’s general unfamiliarity with data centers. From the physically standpoint, data centers are far more secure than servers located in a closet in an office building. Most data centers require multiple physical layers of security including card and biometric scanners and are often staffed by on premise personnel 24/7.

On the data security side, compare in-house IT personnel (already spread too thin) to a company whose sole mission is to provide you the best outsourced IT service. Instead of fighting outdated desktop computer hardware, Managed Service Providers can leverage knowledge and lessons learned from its diverse customer base to your advantage.

2. If I move my mission critical application out of my office and into the Cloud it will be slower and/or less reliable.

If a proper assessment is done, and necessary adjustments made, your application/server should not be slower in the Cloud. The biggest bottleneck in this problem is your office Internet connection – which probably needs to be upgraded anyway. Servers in a data center are usually newer generation hardware, bettered configured and managed, and have much better availability (due to being hosted on powerful backbone Internet connections).

3. Moving to the Cloud will be more expensive than buying hardware and keeping my IT needs in my office.

Moving IT services to the Cloud is rarely the more expensive option. Considering cost is an important part of any IT decision. However, using this as the sole point of view is a mistake. A decision to move IT services to the Cloud must include the following factors: cost of downtime from an insecure office hosting environment, poorly configured servers/applications from under skilled and overworked in-house IT staff, and the increased competitive advantage of a scalable, more powerful IT environment.

4. I am HIPAA compliant with my data backup / email / applications in the Cloud.

A common mistake made in the healthcare industry is the thinking that if my data is housed in a data center than it must be HIPAA compliant. A medical practice was recently fined $100,000 for using a public Google Calendar to keep track of patient schedules. If your data is being hosted in a data center make sure that you are using HIPAA compliant services or risk being fined $10,000 per record breach.

5. My IT personnel can manage my servers better than a Managed Service Provider.

By placing your servers/applications into the Cloud you are leveraging the knowledge, experience, and personnel of a company that manages hundreds, if not thousands of servers. This also frees up your IT personnel to focus on things that help drive your business, instead of worrying about whether or not the server has the latest patches on it.

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About the Author:

Jared Stauffer is the Editor-in-Chief of Cloud Magazine.