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Myths and Cloud Computing

July 8, 2013 No Comments

One of cloud computing’s greatest draws is its ability of offer flexibility. Throw in potential cost savings and a way to make an IT manager’s life just a bit easier when he’s asked to ramp up the enterprise’s firepower, and you’re on the path to a winning combination.

But all is not simple in the world of cloud. Some experiences with cloud are seamless and on point; other forays into the cloud seem to get bogged down by potential pitfalls that may have no grounding in reality.

Yet cloud is reaching the point where its detractors are running out of ways to doubt its capabilities. Certain myths, however, still remain.

According to an article on, seeing past these myths is critical to making the right decisions about whether, when and how to adopt cloud-based solutions.  Based on a keynote presentation given by Oracle’s Bob Evans at CloudExpo New York, here’s some cloud computing myths worth dispelling:

There’s no difference between virtualization and the cloud. It’s true that virtualization is a key technology that enables cloud computing, but virtualization alone does not make a cloud. While virtualization is primarily focused on server and workload consolidation with the goal of reducing infrastructure costs, cloud computing involves much more than that. Consider that a recent survey of its members conducted by IOUG (Independent Oracle User Group) revealed that cloud customers are adopting Platform as a Service more rapidly than Infrastructure as a Service. That’s because those businesses are finding that while the infrastructure-centric approach taken by virtualization offers significant value, those companies are gaining even more agility and flexibility and savings from the benefits that Platform as a Service provides: higher levels of standardization and resource sharing, less heterogeneity and complexity, and lower costs.

Clouds only run on commodity components. While some well-known online consumer sites have gained some publicity for using cheap, commodity hardware, that approach is only one of many: clouds are running on servers of all different shapes and sizes.  The critical issue in choosing the right type of infrastructure is not what some high-profile Internet company does, but rather what is the best approach for your business right here, right now. Whether you’re building a private cloud or consuming a public cloud, here are some important questions to consider:

*How much time and cost is involved in deploying hardware and VMs?

*Are you getting the lowest cost-per-performance possible?

*How does your quality of service (reliability, latency, availability) compare against other clouds?

As you dig into those questions, you’ll quickly find that commodity hardware doesn’t always provide the best value in terms of not just performance but also real estate required, power consumption, administration and more. It may go against the current fad, but cloud hardware that is specifically optimized and engineered to deliver higher performance and efficiency often delivers the lowest TCO for cloud.

Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting


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