Are You Ready for Computing in the Cloud
Cloud Computing Disadvantages
We don’t live in a perfect world unfortunately, which means Cloud computing does come with some disadvantages.
Although Cloud has many more benefits over a traditional desktop solution. The cloud is not going to be right for every business.
Let me explain what these disadvantages are so you can make an informed decision for your business.
Requires a Constant Connection
This is the biggest single factor that hinders the cloud e.g. the ‘internet connection.’ By basic definition Cloud Computing’s means ‘the internet’ e.g. without it or a connection to it, you can not access your data and applications.
There is however ways to sync data from the Cloud to your local PC, and its possible for you to work offline and upload the documents to the cloud when you are back online again!
If your place of business is in an area that suffers intermittent internet connections, or is extremely expensive to provide leased lines (direct connections) because your business is away from a commercial hub geographically, then cloud computing might not be the best decision for your business.
The cloud relies on good internet connections, because your information is being streamed to your device(s). For smaller companies of up to 5 users, you can generally get away with a standard broadband connection (adsl), but for larger businesses, you require improved broadband solutions such as SDSL or leased lines – the truth is most businesses already have these circuits due to the commercial importance that good circuit connections have.
Low Speed Connections
Running a cloud service for your business on a low speed broadband, with latency (delays on the line), will affect the performance of your cloud and access to your information.
Web-based applications often require a lot of bandwidth to download a document for example, but more importantly it is your up-load speed that’s critical. Most broadband providers never deliver the bandwidth they promise, unless you pay a little more money for guaranteed speeds.
Analysing your network connection is the fist thing we audit, before delivering a cloud service, without the bandwidth for your business; your cloud would be less efficient.
We offer all the advice and support to ensure you have a sufficient network in place before migrating to a cloud solution.
Can Be Slow
Believe it or not, even on a fast internet connection, particular web based applications or graphical based applications can be slower than running on your local machine, although this is not a rule of thumb and is rare.
This especially effects heavy graphic/data usage such as architects/designers Graphic companies for example, we do not promote a fully steamed environment for these organisations Instead we would suggest a hybrid cloud – this means we would host an element of your environment, such as your email and your web sites, whilst managing your local applications onsite.
In conclusion there are many options available, and all these are discussed following Sagari’s thorough consulting and audit service, ensuring we bring you and your business across to the cloud as seamlessly as possible.
Features Might Be Limited
If you want to use free cloud computing solutions such as Google Apps or Zoho, you must understand their limitations, and what can truly be achieved with each application.
For example, Google’s desktop publishing tool, compared to the feature rich Microsoft Word are currently worlds apart.
If you only require basic software, Google Apps could be a perfect solution for you, but if you are like most organisations using Microsoft Office applications already this is essential.
There is no doubt that other software vendors will soon be competing with Microsoft on a much more even playing field, and no doubt be catching up in the future.
Sagari provide the latest Microsoft Office 2010 Professional as part of every hosted desktop and do not restrict you from any of the features and benefits provided.
Stored Data Might Not Be Secure
Delivering data and software services over the Cloud does have inherent security risks, which are important to understand….. The irony is your data is most likely far safer in the cloud than in your own office!
There are different types of clouds which bare a number of risks. For instance, public clouds means your data and applications are stored on a server(s) somewhere out in the cloud, but no one could tell you where this data is, or how to retrieve it in the event of a hardware crash.
Cloud companies providing this service need to be audited fully, and you need to fully understand how their disaster recovery procedures work, also their backup processes should the unfortunate hardware failure ever occur.
I would suggest not only a visit to their offices to meet support staff, but try and get some customer references and arrange a site visit.. A thorough understanding of their disaster recovery and backup process really is a given.
You must be confident that your business critical data is being managed to the very highest levels.
Private Clouds are far safer, mainly because it is all managed in a secure datacentre where someone can physically put their hand on your data, but it is vital you check everything for your own due-diligence. Well managed Private Clouds and data centres come with a plethora or accreditations you can look into.
Sagari provide private Clouds only, and run our services in 3 of the most prolific datacentres in the UK. We are in the process of implementing a 4th which I will detail at another time. We have recently had 10 month due diligence completed by a leading law firm, who are more than happy to backup all the claims we make about our business structure, services and accreditations etc.
I will be running a blog on how to choose the right Cloud Partner and preparing for the cloud another time.
The next blog will be talking about whom benefits from the cloud, which I will discuss more about collaborators, road warriors, adding value and much more…
I look forward to the next blog.