As more and more businesses move towards cloud computing, there are some pitfalls we have to look out for. Most business desktop computers depend on the Internet or Web hosted applications to run such as Google Docs, Amazon Cloud Storage or Dropbox. Employees depend on access to these services to check email, share documents and get work done. It makes sense for people that manage multiple devices to move all of their documents to a cloud service where everything is always accessible, but there are some serious implications that you should consider before moving all of your data to the Web. In this article, I will discuss some of the risks present in cloud computing that may not be as clear as you would like.
Problem №1 – Where is your cloud located?
When choosing a cloud storage or hosting provider, you need to ask: where will the data be located? Many cloud-computing firms are putting their servers in a single data center with the redundancy or reliability you may be expecting. While this may be a cheaper option than a larger outfit, it may not be a risk that you are willing to take in the event of an outage.
Problem №2 – Does it scale?
Right now your storage and data transfer needs may be small but what if they should grow in the future? Will your cloud storage provider be able to scale with you? If you should suddenly need more storage or your application takes off and needs more bandwidth, how long will it take them to provide it. At what cost? Is there is a limit on how much you can consume before they cut you off?
Problem №3 – Will it evolve?
This depends on the resources of the service provider as software development and upgradation is never too simple. It is time consuming and complex and if you back the wrong company, you’ll soon find the need to switch companies.
Problem №4 – Can you change providers?
Should you come into a problem such as the above, where the provider can no longer support your data needs, how easy will it be to switch? Although you may be able to cancel the service at any time, the key remains in getting your data back in a perfect format as many companies have lost their data after terminating the services of the service provider.
Problem №5 – Is it really secure?
Good cloud computing services have dedicated and skilled resources that ensure high levels of security. However, not many have this and many of the smaller companies are to be checked prior to signing up. Before you entrust them to your sensitive work or private documents, find out how secure they really are. Can employees of the company read your data?
Problem №6 – Is it backed up?
In case of an emergency it is best to have your data backed up by the cloud storage company. It is important to find out how often they are performing these backups, if there is an extra cost involved, and how long it may take to restore the data in the event of a failure.
You’ve probably agreed to a whole bunch of terms when you signed up, but if you haven’t read the fine print, then it just might be too bad, so sad. Don’t get this wrong as most of us have entrusted our data with the likes of Google, Apple, Amazon, and Yahoo. The key is to know what you’re getting into when you make that choice so that you can strengthen your security mechanisms and be prepared in case you ever have a problem with your cloud service provider. Jumping into the cloud bandwagon may be a good thing as long as you have done your homework.
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