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7 Cloud Myths That Are Only Half True

        posted by , December 03, 2012

Contrary to popular belief, people aren't dumb. Many information technology myths have some basis in reality — even if they're not completely true.

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Take cloud computing for example. It's hard to think of another technology more steeped in myth. Nevertheless, the most persistent myths have some basis in reality:

1. Cloud computing isn't secure

In the old days, organizations threw up perimeter security (firewalls) around their applications. They slept well thinking (perhaps unrealistically) that nothing could possible hurt them.

Public cloud SaaS, IaaS and PaaS calls for new approaches to security that makes many uneasy.

Cloud security does require a great deal of due diligence. The end result is usually more secure than your typical in-house integration.

Nevertheless, the cloud deployment model does have some potential security risks. For example, certain types of denial of service attack are a threat to public cloud deployments.

2. Cloud is expensive

In theory, the economics of cloud make cloud infrastructure the cheapest thing going. For example, cloud solutions can benefit from efficiencies of scale and higher resource utilization (multi-tenancy).

The challenge is translating economic theory into business results.

The reality is that cloud can be expensive (sometimes). For example, a SaaS provider many charge subscription fees beyond the business benefits that an organization can achieve from the service.

Many organizations do enjoy low infrastructure and software costs as a result of the move to cloud. However, it's not written in stone that cloud always translates to the most attractive business case.

3. Cloud integration is difficult

If you've only done in-house integration — you'll need to adapt your tool set and architectural approach.

It's not a titanic effort to integrate with SaaS, IaaS and PaaS. Once you've done it — you can reuse your tool set and expertise.

4. I'll get locked in to my cloud provider

This was a top 5 concern amongst cloud customers from the start. As a result, many SaaS vendors have developed data liberation tools.

PaaS lock-in concerns remain strong. It's possible to architecture your software with pluggable libraries (e.g. loose service coupling) but this provides only limited protection.

5. Cloud computing is about virtualization

Server virtualization is an important aspect of most cloud architectures. However, cloud has much more to it.

6. Cloud computing is a short term trend that will go away

A decade from now cloud may be a passé term. Nevertheless, cloud computing will be the engine of industries for many years to come.

Cloud computing is a fundamental revolution that's transformed infrastructure and software — making them utilities.

In the future, deploying your own infrastructure and software will be as common as generating your own electricity is today.

7. Cloud means moving everything to the cloud

This one isn't even half true. The vast majority of organizations that adopt cloud solutions employ hybrid architectures that mix in-house applications, public cloud and/or private cloud.

This is the third in a 12-part series of posts called How to Win at Cloud.

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