There are a lot misconceptions floating around about the cloud. If you’re considering moving to the cloud, here’s some clarity on the top 25 myths surrounding the cloud and the truths behind them.
Myth #1: Cloud computing is just a marketing buzzword.
Truth: The term “cloud” is new, but at its core, the cloud is simply a set of pooled computing resources and services delivered over the web. The cloud is just a new, more efficient way of delivering computing sources.
Myth #2: I don’t know anyone who uses cloud computing.
Truth: Updating Twitter or Facebook? Adding photos to Flickr? Listing items on Craigslist or eBay? Using Yahoo for email? You’re using the cloud. Most of us already trust the cloud for sensitive data.
Truth: The cloud is trustworthy. People using the cloud may not be. That’s why it’s important to thoroughly research and understand how the cloud works before you adopt it.
Myth #4: Myth: There’s too much downtime with cloud computing
Truth: Just like car accidents, system downtime happens. However, for a fraction of the cost of building redundant, high availability infrastructure, the cloud delivers built-in scale with high redundancy and availability to protect you when accidents happen.
Myth #5: Never trust the cloud with sensitive data.
Truth: Just like you lock your door when you’re not home, you can easily secure access to your data with encryption protocols and selecting strong passwords. That means you have the power to make your data as safe as you need.
Myth #6: My business is too big for the cloud; it’s only for startups.
Truth: Any business looking to avoid the pressure and financial strain of deploying and maintaining infrastructure can find relief in the cloud. Even enterprises are moving business functions to the cloud to support marketing campaigns and content delivery.
Myth #7: Once you’re in the cloud, it’s impossible to get out.
Truth: Choose your cloud wisely. For the freedom to move a web application on or off cloud environments, providers using standard technology stacks and standardization practices offer maximum application mobility. For developers building applications that support businesses, open clouds are an ideal option.
Myth #8: Cloud computing has lots of hidden fees.
Truth: A major benefit of the cloud is the ability to pay for only what you use without signing long-term contracts. It’s naturally a cheaper solution. Before moving your business application to the cloud, estimate your potential traffic so you can plan your budget accordingly.
Myth #9: The cloud is only for the tech-savvy.
Truth: The tech-savvy and tech-novice can find their way in the cloud. Advances in APIs and control panels, make provisioning a server or applying secure controls as simple as a few clicks while still offering advanced users options for control.
Myth #10: Anything you can run on a server can be run in the cloud.
Truth: The cloud is for everyone, but not for everything. You can achieve significant benefits by moving applications to the Cloud, but some applications may need to stay in a dedicated environment. Only you can decide where security requirements, flexibility, performance, or control precludes utilizing the cloud.
Myth #11: The cloud is too complicated for our business to run.
Truth: The cloud was built to make managing web applications online easier for businesses. The backend may be complicated, but easy control panel management makes it a cinch for the average user to jump in and perform complex operations.
Myth #12: You can’t get real support in the cloud.
Truth: Cloud providers built on open standards offer huge user-based communities to help users with common issues. A good cloud provider typically includes live support along with detailed support documentation to help you navigate your cloud environment.
Myth #13: There is only one type of cloud.
Truth: There are three layers of cloud services and deployment methods to support different business functions: Software-as-a-Service (Salesforce or Basecamp), Platform-as-a-Service (Engine Yard or Google’s App Engine), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Amazon EC2 or Rackspace Cloud Servers).
Truth: The cloud is only limited by data center size. In practice, limits depend on the size of a cloud provider’s datacenter and the underlying technology – which affects scalability. For practical purposes, most cloud providers offer enough scalability to successfully handle massive spikes in usage or traffic.
Myth #15: I can’t put my customized application in the cloud.
Truth: Cloud platforms let developers focus on business issues by eliminating the infrastructure management and scaling layer. Creating and maintaining custom applications in the cloud requires specialized skills in application architecture and scaling but can be accomplished.
Myth #16:The cloud will soon die.
Truth: With the current infiltration of cloud computing services in business and consumer realms, the cloud will be around for a long time to come. Most free services, like Wikipedia and Dropbox, would become cost-prohibitive to maintain and enterprises would once again find themselves at the mercy of hardware and infrastructure constraints.
Myth #17: The cloud and the Internet are the same thing.
Truth: The cloud isn’t the Internet, but the Internet delivers most cloud services. So, if you have the skills to build your own website and serve it from your home computer, you can. However, the cloud offers an economy of scale you can’t achieve from your home computer.
Myth #18: Don’t use the cloud to host databases.
Truth: Cloud Services like Twitter have large databases that store values, like your Twitter handle, Twitter status, username, and password. Imagine storing that volume of data for each user and updating it in real time? Massive database like that are being served in the cloud every day.
Myth #19: You lose control over your data in the cloud.
Truth: Many assume that moving your data to the cloud means you’ve lost control of your data. Not true. In most cases, infrastructure-as-a-service providers give you admin access and rights to manipulate and control your data at will. What you don’t have are the keys to the datacenter or the headaches of maintaining it all.
Myth #20: Setting up a cloud account takes too long.
Truth: Already using services like Mint.com or iTunes? Then you know that it only takes a few minutes to set up an account. Setting up a cloud account for your business is no different. You can set up an infrastructure ready for your applications in minutes.
Myth #21: I have a few servers; I can build my own cloud in the basement.
Truth: Given enough time, money, and expertise, it’s possible but not practical. Realistically, a cloud provider with competent in-house engineering teams can provide and guarantee the infrastructure you need for a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself.
Myth #22: The cloud is stealing IT jobs.
Truth: The cloud isn’t killing IT jobs, it’s changing the nature of the work. The cloud allows IT resources to focus away from maintaining hardware and toward more revenue generating initiatives that deliver greater value to the business.
Myth #23: The cloud is faster than traditional servers are.
Truth: The cloud is a set of pooled computing resources: servers. One is no faster than the other is because the cloud couldn’t exist without servers. The cloud gives users the benefit of multiple servers working together to achieve greater efficiency and resource utilization.
Myth #24: The cloud is just mainframe computing.
Truth: It’s true that the underlying concepts of cloud architectures aren’t new at all. What’s new with the cloud is the ability to serve these complex technologies behind a common user interface. Today’s cloud is meant to free users from the operational aspects of managing applications online.
Myth 25: There is no privacy in the cloud.
Truth: If you’re considering moving data off-premises, you need to be concerned about privacy. A good provider will post their policy prominently so that you know what you’re getting into. As you review privacy policies, make sure both your information (billing information) and your data (files stored in the cloud) are protected.