Cloud computing has revolutionized the business industry, allowing for easy storage and sharing of not only data but software applications, and encouraging collaboration on an international scale. It's also allowed businesses to cut down on their costs. Tasks don't take as long, files don't take up physical space, or as much room in the budget. . This may be why, according to a recent study by tech trend analysis group, HfS, 32 percent of European IT managers making the move to private cloud services their number one anticipated investment for cloud computing in 2013.
Understandably, there are some concerns with this relatively new way of doing business. Security and privacy concerns top the list:
PrivacyWith many cloud computing providers based in the United States, issues with the laws there may present obstacles. With their Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Acts, if the US government requests access to the files of a foreign business, the storage providers must turn them over. No warrant is needed.
In addition, private cloud servers run by third-parties often share similar privacy concerns with public cloud servers when run by third-parties. The providers have access to your files, and under certain circumstances, may be called to share that information with the government. Businesses that create their own clouds in-house enjoy the highest levels of privacy available.
Public versus Private Cloud ServicesIn its simplest form, a public cloud service is built on a network that is open to the public. Anyone can buy access. That doesn't mean files are available to anyone on the server, however. Individual users still have personal accounts with password protection. Privacy and security measures in place, but how private and how secure are up for debate.
A private cloud service is built on a dedicated virtual server. Only one client can store information on the network, though that client may give permission to as many users as can be supported by its budget. These services can be run by third parties or individual companies can build their own.
SecurityBy and and large, private cloud servers offer improved security measures to their clients. Providers offering storage to corporations go to significant lengths to make sure their clients' data stays protected. That's true when dealing with an organization like Anonymous, made up of hundreds of hackers purposefully trying to break into company files, and to individuals trying to steal company secrets
CostPublic cloud space tends to be significantly less expensive than private networks. This is especially true during the set-up stage, but private fees will be higher for ongoing costs as well, though improved benefits may negate the costs. Ongoing usage is another story. Private providers may be more willing to work out payment plans in case of an unexpected spike in usage, or design tailored services for businesses that have irregular usage cycles.
ScalabilityWhile cloud computing was just beginning to gain steam, scalability was a major concern. Today, it's clear that both public and private servers are able to easily grow to fit the needs of your business..
QoSAs concerns over scalability falls, issues regarding quality of service are growing. System effectiveness is a growing priority. HfS found that not only are 7 percent of IT managers making this their top priority in 2013, end-to-end QoS was identified as the second most important long-term concern in regard to cloud computing. Surprisingly, public server QoS often exceeds that presented by private in-house systems.
Author: Stuart Beattie / Consilium UK