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Should I really be hosting everything in the ‘Cloud’?

Should you host everything in the ‘Cloud’? Well, lets start by defining what we mean by the ‘Cloud’ – Cloud Computing is Internet-based computing whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand via the internet. In terms of hosting in the Cloud, what we are specifically talking about is using another Companies web serving infrastructure (hardware and software) to store our data and control access to how we use that data.

In short, there are two principal questions; Should we store all of our data outside of our direct control; and should we pass control of who and how our data is used to someone else.

Should I really be hosted everything in the cloud banner

Data security (access) and reliability (back up) become a focus. A simple way to evaluate the questions of access and back up are to explore whether (your) business can offer more or less security of access and back up reliability than the hosting company. On the basis that the Company providing the ‘Cloud’ can accurately communicate the exact level of access security and reliability that they can offer then this should be a straight forward question to answer.

The next part of the answer should relate to the question of ‘should’. For a business to provide a comparative level of security and reliability to a dedicated hosting company is certainly possible, but at what cost. Is the cost of providing the same (or higher) levels worth the cost? Cost in terms of cash yes, but also the return on the use of that cash. Are there other areas of the business who could use that available budget to increase sales or profit? ie the money could be better used to grow the business.

Clearly, the large corporations of this world have the available budgets and IT departments to make providing their own infrastructure a possibility, for SME’s there is just no logical comparison between running a server in a moderately secure office to using dedicated Cloud based services – the feature list for dedicated Cloud hosting is almost certainly going to exceed what could reasonably be acheived by any SME.

As for everything – one would argue that there is certainly no point splitting some data in the ‘Cloud’ with on-premise if it can be avoided. The additional costs of using Cloud and non Cloud infrastructure should make this certainly not a good use of the options, and additional integration complexity can be an expensive problem to solve.

2010-08-05T08:23:48+00:00 Cloud Article, Comment|