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Cloud Computing: The Good, the Bad, and the Solutions

February 7, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Chris Freeman, Independent Technology Author

Cloud computing is an increasingly popular method of doing business in the modern age. Though it is a relatively simple concept to understand, at least on the surface level, the pros and cons of adopting this type of infrastructure are not quite as obvious. Here, we will go over a few of the benefits and risks to this type of system, and how some of the risks can be mitigated in order to create a more viable system for you and your workplace.

 yes1 300x198 Cloud Computing: The Good, the Bad, and the Solutions

Cloud Computing – Abstract 2” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by perspec_photo88

What are the Benefits?

·        Reduced Reliability Issues

We’ve all had situations where our computer systems have gone down. This can lead to an enormous cost in time, which can also create an enormous loss of money. When using cloud computing, the hosting servers have redundancies to protect against the most common issues, and they have staff who work to repair any problems without cost to the end-user. Also helpful is the fact that when using a cloud computing system, the data is stored off-site so recovering lost data can be as simple as reconnecting back into the cloud service.

·        Better Collaboration

Since cloud computing systems can be accessed almost anywhere with an internet connection, there is a reduction in the effort needed for those working together to collaborate. Simply log into the same system and you can easily have multiple people working on the same project, whether from home or even another country.

·        Cost Efficient

Traditional computing systems cost thousands of dollars to create and maintain, with additional costs going into expanded storage and program updates. Cloud computing systems often have these included and without the tremendous start-up cost. This can mean a lower cost both initially, and long-term. On the lowest end, for a service such as Microsoft Azure, these costs can be as low as $12 per year. The exact price for these varies heavily but, luckily, there are many online calculators for the different services that can help you discover your predicted costs.

How about the Costs, and how can Mitigate Them?

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Security broken” (Public Domain) by DennisM2

·        Security

With having a system placed entirely on the internet, there is always the risk of a security breach. Usually, this is accomplished through the theft of passwords or other secure login details. Note that this is only usually going to be a major problem in the case of poorly configured security systems, and there are companies and products that deal with breach prevention that specialise in preventing this. Also growing in popularity are two-step verification systems, which can take some additional work in setting up but greatly reduce potential security risks.

·        Requires an Internet connection

Cloud computing relies on infrastructure held online and, because of this, a constant internet connection is required. This means that a loss of this connection can slow or completely halt this area of business. Fortunately, there are backups in place for these occasions, including emergency secondary satellite or cell-based connections, which can help in the occasional emergency.

·        Performance can Vary on Shared Networks

This is a similar sort of problem to the previous bullet point, which many of us have experienced on home networks. If one person or group is using too much data, then the performance for other users can suffer. To combat this, it is necessary to take into account exactly how many users you expect will be operating on your system, and what sort of draw they will have on the infrastructure’s total given resources. The cloud computing services themselves can often point you in the right direction here.

Is Cloud Computing Right for You?

There is no one right or correct system for all businesses. You need to take into account exactly what your needs are, and what your needs might be in the future. That said, there are some very good reasons as to why more and more businesses are heading into the world of cloud computing. While there are some issues – and always will be – the positive often outweighs the negative and, with a little attention to addressing what issues there are, the problems can often be mitigated or eliminated entirely.


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