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The top 5 myths in cloud computing. Get the facts straight.

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November 22, 2012

For the past few years now, the term Cloud Computing has been used so much and in so many ways in IT circles and computer desk-side support departments that the word may bring more confusion than answers to some.

In this article, I aim to remove some of that confusion and bring light to it.

I will also clear the air on the industry's top five myths about Cloud Computing, since as a web hosting senior network manager, I get to hear them all the time. To be sure, Cloud Computing and Cloud Hosting has been a hot topic for technology specialists all over the world.

Cloud computing has been adopted by many enterprises, but still many challenges linger. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Myths of Cloud Computing and what you need to know to better understand it all:

Myth No. 1 - Where is the Cloud? Will our data always be available?

Where it's located isn't important. But what is important is that your data be hosted in a very secure, state-of-the-art data centre. We will soon talk about security in this article, but to answer this first myth, the internet is everywhere and runs 24 hours a day. So is your data. When in the Cloud, your data is always available all the time, 365 days a year, at anytime of the day or night.

Additionally, serious cloud hosting providers will ensure that all your data be backed up regularly, and according to your own very specific needs. We've all heard and read so many horror stories of businesses and organizations of all sizes that lost vital and critical data that was mission-critical to their firms. With Cloud Computing, such risks can be easily averted.

A serious Cloud Hosting provider will sit down with you and carefully go through all your vital data needs and make certain that the level of Cloud Service that will be provided will be customized for your specific corporate needs. Additionally, such a provider will be in constant contact with Cloud customers to ensure that the level of service is in tune with your specific needs at the time of your Cloud Hosting account review.

Myth No. 2 - We don't have time for the Cloud. We're already stretched!

On the contrary. Cloud Computing will actually free up your time and the time of your system admins since most of the critical day-to-day management will be done and performed by your Cloud Computing services provider. Your IT department will always have full control of your Cloud of course, but a large percentage of the management tasks will be performed by your Cloud provider. So a long experience at managing a corporate network and a good track record with the Cloud itself is critical to the overall success of your outsourced Cloud Computing.

You begin to shop for a Cloud Hosting provider the same way you would for any other critical service that your company relies on: with lots of care, due diligence, attention to detail and, last but not least, you need to ask a lot of questions. But Cloud Computing can and will save your company a lot of time and financial resources, since it costs less to design a Cloud Service that will be used by hundreds of companies instead of just one at a time.

It's a good idea to outsource all your Cloud needs to a professional hosting firm that has the experience, the tools and the resources to deliver a service that will be reliable 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Look for a hosting company that's been around for at least 15 years or more, and has consistently delivered reliable hosting services to the IT industry.

Myth No. 3- You lose complete control of your enterprise data in the cloud

This is another one I hear a lot. There are still many people that think they won't be able to access their data whenever they need it because they cannot see the actual physical SAN/Drive’s that the data is being stored on. With the Cloud, the technology maintenance and support issues are in the hands of the cloud hosting provider, which means a high level of availability.

Data in cloud environments is segmented and even encrypted in most cases, and some hosting providers also allow you to control how your data is stored, which would allow your data to be on a shared storage system or dedicated storage. I have worked with these types of cloud systems and think that overall flexibility and scalability is the real future of cloud management.

And there are also of course a lot more benefits, such as convenience, speed and productivity gains, since Cloud Computing can help you save time. And as they say, time is money, whether in the Cloud or not.

Myth No. 4 - Security is at risk in the cloud, we can get hacked into

This is another talked about myth. In order to be successful service providers, cloud hosting companies have to ensure their enterprise customers that all data is secure 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The security risks that exist in the cloud are no different than the ones that exist in-house. The greatest advantage when outsourcing to the cloud is that providers are permanently focused on improving controls, increasing security and standardizing procedures so that your data in the Cloud is always secure.

Companies sometimes neglect to focus on data security and integrity, but a reliable Cloud hosting provider will always make certain that all safety measures are taken at all times and that there are no compromises made to security. Data security starts at the physical data centre and then moves on to the network, two extremely critical areas that keep serious hosting managers awake at night, and I would know.

So one could argue that a risk could be to remain in a physical environment. Most cloud computing providers also offer the customer different levels of security protection, which allows for more enhanced security. There are many ways to greatly improve the security of a network besides using just firewalls. Remember that you can get hacked electronically into your own premises as well, so I still think that the Cloud is better.

Myth No. 5 - Speed and overall performance is an issue in the cloud

That's another one I get all the time. It's easier to add additional resources in a cloud environment and if deployed correctly, those resources can be well balanced and will enable you to achieve a much higher level of speed, data throughput, performance and overall network redundancy. The latest servers designed and specifically built for the cloud will run on very high performance Xeon and multiple CPUs that most companies do not deploy in a physical environment, mainly for cost reasons.

Such servers can also feature RAM memory in the tera byte region which have allowed us to achieve much higher performance levels over the same systems when compared to a physical environment. Replicating such performance and speed can be prohibitively expensive, even for large businesses. Add to that the cost to maintain and administer such a complex server farm and you get to understand what I'm talking about.

Such high-performance Cloud Servers are also designed with specially-manufactured motherboards that are directly connected to fiber-optic Gig-E internet switches and routers that greatly accelerate the movement of data from the server to the public internet.

But no matter what you've read of heard so far about Cloud Computing, there's one thing you need to get ready for-- prepare yourself to see and hear a lot more, since it's not just a fad that will go away. Cloud Computing and Cloud Hosting are here to stay and represent a new way of accelerating the speed and performance of enterprise data, while at the same time reducing overall costs to corporate IT departments around the world.

Sun Hosting was founded in 1995 and has been profitable from the beginning, has no debt and is very strong financially. We are a major hosting company, offering professional Cloud Computing services to enterprise customers in over 65 countries. Sun Hosting currently operates and manages multiple data centres located throughout Canada and the United States.

Article submitted by Jonathan Price,
jprice@sunhosting.ca
Senior Network Manager,
Sun Hosting

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