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According to Gartner Inc. it is expected that cloud computing is surrounded by myths as it is not well understood yet many are talking about it. Such myths end up instilling fear thereby impeding deployment while hampering innovation. As a result real progress, new ideas and outcomes are not observed. Despite the quick and widespread uptake of cloud computing and how it has greatly affected all types of businesses there is still a lot of wrong information and concerns.
David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner fellow is quoted saying that, due to what cloud computing is, it is susceptible to being mythicized. Since it involves delivering infrastructure and software as a service, and the provider and the user of the service are clearly distinguished. The user believes that in the cloud is where the magic happens and no details of what happens should be known. This therefore explains the numerous myths and misconceptions.
There are numerous myths concerning the transfer and running of applications on the cloud. Gartner has shed some light on some of the most misleading and dangerous myths about the cloud.
Myth 1: cloud is always less expensive.
To think that with the cloud you always save money could limit your progress. If you require servers that run throughout, using a dedicated server could prove to be cheaper. However for varying amounts of work and fluctuating demand, cloud is the better option. The cloud allows you to switch off servers in time of low demand thereby cutting down on the idle infrastructure cost. Through this the cloud can improve on your spending by aligning your cost trends with revenue patterns. However, though you might reduce your costs, this is not always the case.
Myth 2: To be good you must be in the cloud.
This is a sign that people have been indoctrinated to believe that cloud is the only good way to do anything. This has not happened intentionally but as an honest result of misinformation and is based on a mistaken belief that for something to be good it has to be cloud. To add to this IT companies are referring to a lot of thing as cloud in an attempt to gather funding. This therefore results in the misplaced myth that to be good it has to be cloud.
Myth 3: Everything is better done on cloud.
This closely ties to myth 2 above and it is a belief that everything is applicable to the cloud. Cloud computing is applicable to all businesses size notwithstanding. Advantages such as faster market access, selected processes and scalable IT resources can simply not be ignored. However the fact that it is applicable to all businesses does not mean that all IT tasks are best carried out in the cloud. Some of these tasks are best carried out in the public cloud, others in the private cloud and legacy applications in the dedicated servers. Unless it is cost-effective it is not logical to move a legacy application to the cloud if it doesn’t change. To get an all round workable solution, it is best to work with two or more options simultaneously.
Myth 4: Only one strategy and one vendor are needed for the cloud.
Since cloud services are broad and cover many levels e.g. for models there are ‘lift and shift’ and cloud native, in terms of scope there is internal and external and so forth. Coming up with a cloud strategy should be structured on synchronizing business goals and benefits expected. These two are variable in various cases and therefore no single standardized strategy can work in all cases.
Myth 5: Reduced data security.
There is no question about the necessity of data security. A mishap in security could in the best case scenario bring down your site losing you money, worse it could completely ruin the public’s opinion of your organization. This therefore explains why security concerns are a major factor stopping businesses from venturing into the cloud. In real sense however the risks match those in the former on-premise infrastructure. The only difference is that in the cloud, security becomes a shared load between the provider and you. The ideal provider will employ a myriad of security measures including firewalls, advanced encryption and systems to quickly detect any intrusion. Their data centers should be approved by and certified by; PCI DSS, ISO and ISAE standards.
Myth 6: You should not use cloud for critical purposes.
Since cloud computing is mostly used in synchrony with other options it is therefore adapted in phases. The initial stages therefore most of what is deployed to the cloud is not mission critical. However as organizations progress beyond the early stages they use the cloud even for these critically important workloads. To add to this, numerous enterprises have started in the cloud and continue to use the cloud for all the operations including mission-critical workloads.
Myth 7: With total automation of the cloud no support is needed.
Definitely the fact that from the infrastructure layer upwards, everything can be automated is one of the attractive aspects of the cloud. The automation however requires levels of expertise and knowledge of tools involved. An application developer making applications from beginning to run on the cloud will find easy to automate and enable self-healing and auto scaling with no need for human input. With lack of such know-how however you will need support at least for some time. Providers of the cloud approach it differently, but we at Rackspace have a firm belief that unsparing support should be a very vital part of our service delivery. As such we provide state-of-the-art expertise to not only kick-start you but also to provide technology and ability to advance your business continually and ensure you run seamlessly.
Myth 8: Cloud is not environmentally friendly.
In fact cloud computing is the better option in relation to its effects on the environment. On-premise data centers use up about two times the amount the energy they need if cooling, lighting and maintenance are taken into account. On the other hand providers such as Rackspace deliver the latest technology in terms of power efficiency. The low voltage processors in our servers ensure less power consumption than most other available models. Being the ‘Green IT Operator of The Year’ we aim to improve efficiency continually to ensure our data centers are more efficient and green than ever before.
Myth 9: Cloud reduces job opportunities.
The popular notion of the effect of cloud on It resources can be proven wrong. Cloud computing actually creates jobs rather than reducing them, with projections showing that by 2015 more than 13 million jobs will have been created, brought about by cloud computing. The industry will require many experts whose expertise will keep the industry growing.
Myth 10: It is not worth migrating considering the hassle.
Migrating in to the cloud can be fairly smooth especially if you work with an experienced and trusted provider. However some clean up and architectural changes may be necessary if you currently use very old servers. It can all happen very smoothly and quickly. It cannot be argued that the long-term advantages including improved efficiency and less expenditure outweigh these short-term inconveniences.
Myth 11: A lot of data is nothing to worry about.
This is a misconception. With increasing digital data, businesses are churning out and storing amounts of data not experienced previously. If not considered it could cause systems to be ineffective or even fail to work. Do not allow such a myth to ruin your business. By deploying to the cloud you achieve a structured, organized and efficient data management approach ensuring you stay competitive.
Myth 12: Cloud technology is only in its initial stages.
This is a misplaced notion if a recent study by ISACA is anything to go by. The study revealed that the industry has grown immensely and in the next 4 years it is expected that there will be faster and constant innovation with constant improvement to ensure the cloud satisfies all the needs of all businesses. To reap the long term reward of the cloud, now is the time to harness the cloud.
Myth 13: ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is not an issue.
Due to increased use of personal devices and need to improve efficiency, employers are applying BYOD strategies. Allowing employees to tap into the network using their personal devices has numerous advantages including less spending on IT, improved productivity and satisfied employees. Though employers still believe that BYOD is expensive which is not the case if you are on the cloud. With the cloud, access is possible from any location, at any time, on any device and all this without the need to requisite any infrastructure.
Myth 14: cloud equates to a data centre.
When deploying to the cloud doesn’t mean you should shut down your data centers and move all data. The movement should also not be done where there is o alternative. There should be on-premise storage for data not in the cloud. Generally outsourcing, modernization and strategizing on data centers is not to be equated to the cloud.
Myth 15: you automatically get all cloud features when you deploy into the cloud.
Not all features of the cloud are inherited once you move to the cloud. The characteristics of the cloud are not transitive. One must distinguish between applications in the cloud and the services the cloud offers. There are various steps to the cloud and they do not all give the same outcome though each has its own benefits.
Myth 16: Virtualization is similar to private cloud.
Though the word virtualization is commonly used to mean deploying into the cloud it is not the only way to do so. Even when done properly virtualization doesn’t result in cloud computing. This best applies where highly virtualized, automated environments are in plenty and are most cases just what is necessary. Unfortunately they are mistakenly referred to as ‘private clouds’.