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BLOG: The cloud - soft and fluffy or a serious contender?

Andy Cordial | April 7, 2011
With questions still remaining over its security, how can organisations best utilise cloud computing?

In reality, until we really know how insecure these storage facilities actually are in the first instance, we have no real idea whether these solutions are necessary or will even work. That said, admittedly, I still fasten my seatbelt when the pilot switches on the sign and would recommend you do the same for your data. What I would say is, if you're in any doubt about whether you can risk your data falling from the sky, perhaps it shouldn't be there in the first place.

You've arrived at your destination

We've all experienced the holiday of a lifetime that doesn't quite live up to its billing. The climate that's either too hot or too cold or that half the items you've crammed into your suitcase aren't needed yet the cable to charge your mobile phone has somehow been left behind. The cloud is exactly the same.

It isn't suitable for everything, or everyone. Careful consideration and planning needs to be undertaken first if you're to migrate the right applications and data to benefit from increased efficiencies and lower costs.

Another element is download speeds. Agreed, bandwidth should not be the only consideration when selecting a cloud service provider but it is an important factor. It needs to be balanced with quality of support, pricing, features and reliability.

One final consideration I would urge you to cover is, having planned your migration to the cloud, make sure you've get an escape route planned if you find it isn't everything you dreamed it would be. How will you reclaim your data, are you locked in for a given period, will they help you transfer to another provider?

It is my belief that the cloud environment will be compromised at some point - probably in the not too distant future. I don't appear to be alone in this as IT analyst Gartner advises businesses that they must work closely with their cloud computing services provider to ensure that potential security issues are flagged up, and dealt with, before they become a problem. Don't be blinded by promises of performance or cost savings - a security breach could quickly eradicate both of these benefits and potentially deal a fatal blow to your organisation.

So be warned, even a parachute might not protect your data if someone decides to push it from the cloud.

Andy Cordial is MD of Origin Storage.



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