The cloud is fast and secure. It’s wildly flexible, and it offers true mobility without compromising on productivity. These are the reasons most companies make the shift to cloud computing. But sometimes, the cloud experience doesn’t come as advertised. Some businesses, to their dismay, find the cloud to be sluggish, moody or altogether absent. Some find it costlier than physical data centers.
Disaster constantly looms over organizations in cloudland, silent but ready to strike. The signs are usually there; seemingly insignificant but providing advance warning. Here are some tips to help businesses stop their cloud honeymoons from turning into nightmares.
Businesses that can predict a regular upward growth in computing needs are likely to benefit most from the cloud. Still, some find their cloud bills creeping up toward a dangerous mark – the point where having a physical data center makes more financial sense. If you find your business falls in this category, you may want switch back to physical hardware – particularly if the cost factor was your initial draw to the cloud.
Addressing this potential issue requires calculating the cost of installing and maintaining a data center for several years, compared with the cost of cloud computing over that same time span – an approach adopted by San Francisco-based startup MemSQL. After discovering that the cloud would cost them nearly $1 million over three years, MemSQL shifted their computing back to on-site data centers, using the cloud minimally. The allure of the cloud as a cost-saving measure is strong, but make sure that the numbers add up before making a decision.
Data access is critical for any business, with failures taking tolls on both financially and reputational terms. The cloud is not infallible – one quick Google search for “cloud data loss” defeats that argument. So, what should a business do with an uncontrollable data loss situation?
If you are using a public cloud service, use multiple service providers with physical operations in different geographical areas. If you are sticking with a single provider, spread your data across multiple service centers in multiple geographical locations. Some service providers, including Amazon, provide this option for a fee. This will allow for your data to be quickly replicated without disruption in service.
Keeping cloud computing in-house
If you are running in-house cloud services, you have greater control over operations at the physical end. However, you are also open to repeated glitches and errors – and you won’t have a provider to call with questions. A properly planned and deployed cloud computing network needs minimal manual intervention for day-to-day resource allocation.
If your cloud service appears to be stuttering, or there are glitches, or even downtime, ensure that your hardware is adequate for your cloud needs. Physical upgrades need to coincide with the demand growth graph.
There are several ways that cloud computing can fall down on the job, yet the benefits still outweigh the risks for prepared businesses. Proper initial capacity planning and regular monitoring after launch can significantly reduce the risks.Tags: Cloud Computing,Storage,Technology,Virtualization