The Deep, Dark Secrets of Cloud Computing Solutions

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
February 18, 2013

While we’re certainly advocates for cloud computing solutions, particularly those benefits the cloud provides small businesses, we’ve also discussed at length things you need to consider before turning to the cloud. David Taber’s recent article at – 3 Deep, Dark Secrets of Cloud Computing – discussed a few of these items for consideration:

1. The Cloud Never Forgets – While cloud providers all backup your data for protection, what happens to your data when you delete it? Is it being deleted in each propagation?

2. Data in the Cloud Needs a Steward – With people throughout an organization storing data in the cloud, who’s making sure that the right data ends up where it needs to be? There are compliance issues and data requirements that need considering and organizations should have a steward to make sure that rules are followed.

3. Since the Cloud Replaced Internal IT, it Needs to Managed Like IT – Really taking advantage of the cloud requires some IT skill and management, something that usually comes down the road and possibly too late.

David hits the nail on the head with these three secrets to be sure, but there are certainly other considerations – dare we say ‘secrets’ – that still should be addressed. Here are three more:

4. The Cloud isn’t as Reliable as Touted – There have been numerous cloud computing outages recently that have affected everything from email and data access to application availability. How would your organization be affected without access to these and other tools?

5. The Long Term Financials May Not be That Rosy – The typical cloud computing case right now, EC2, is about $0.80 per hour per eight-CPU box. If you have your own data centers and fully populated them, your costs are most likely between $0.04 and $0.08. Having your own data center, you really have the budget and scale to blow away that $0.80 EC2 pricing. SMBs probably do not have that option. The cloud guys can produce tremendous margin for themselves by producing the scale of an entire data center and selling parts of it to SMBs.

6. Cloud Security Visibility May be Blurry – One of the main concerns of security professionals anticipating an organizational switch to a cloud computing solutions model is the loss of visibility into attacks in progress, particularly with SaaS offerings. Performance management down to the end-user is also very difficult. What works well at your main facility might not be working well with your other outlying facilities.

There are more ‘deep, dark secrets’ associated with cloud computing solutions, but it’s not as bleak as the title suggests. Cloud computing simply isn’t a solution for everything IT, nor was it intended to be.


About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Cloud Computing

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