Six Misconceptions About the Cloud


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There are a number of lingering common misconceptions about cloud computing—not just from the point of view of the business, but even at the highest levels of IT. This HDI paper addresses six misconceptions of the cloud in a clear manner.

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Six Misconceptions About the Cloud

  1. 1. Special Advertising Section Six Misconceptions About the Cloud Cloud computing has created a paradigm shift in how we do business. When properly implemented, it can result in greater cost savings, improved consistency and reliability, and vastly improved efficiency and collaboration. With all of these benefits, it’s surprising that more businesses haven’t adopted a cloud strategy or implemented the technology. However, there are a number of lingering common misconceptions about cloud computing—not just from the point of view of the 2. It’s totally not secure. business, but even at the highest levels of IT. Probably the most common misconception about cloud computing is that it is much more vulnerable to security 1. The cloud is just one, big thing. threats. In fact, concerns over security could easily be the most common roadblock to the overall adoption of cloud What is cloud computing? Is it virtual desktops? Mobile computing. Because of its complexity, it is understandable applications? Network-based storage? Remote support that security would be a real concern. But are these concerns tools? The truth is, it’s all of those things. There are warranted? Not really. The reality is that the naysayers really consumer products, virtual desktop hosting, server- can’t articulate their concerns except in very vague terms. based storage and backup solutions, and a vast number The real issue is insecurity on the part of potential adopters. of support and monitoring tools. To many, the idea of the cloud is intangible and difficult to Is a private cloud solution best or would a public cloud comprehend in its entirety. In general, the security concerns be more appropriate? What aspects of cloud computing a relating to individual components of the cloud environment business decides completely depends upon the business’s have been addressed and the cloud has been found to needs. It’s not necessary to implement everything; it is be as safe and secure as anything else in the enterprise. very easy to pick and choose which components will have The cloud is really just a delivery system, and what it is the greatest effect on the success of the business. And delivering are services that have been tested and proven. very often, businesses don’t realize that they already have Distributed computing, virtual desktops, network storage, many of the components of cloud computing in place! and network-based applications are not new technologies. Cloud computing has simply changed how those services are delivered to the client.
  2. 2. 5. My applications won’t run in Special Advertising Section the cloud. While it’s true that older applications that weren’t designed for use over a network may have issues running virtually, the truth is that most modern software applications have no problems running in the cloud. In fact, a related misconception is that applications can be “thrown over the wall” into the cloud and they will magically work, with no effort on the part of IT. Cloud computing doesn’t preclude application testing. Because the cloud environment is essentially replicating the desktop virtually, the same testing rules apply. 6. It’s a very costly adventure. Of particular interest to the finance team are the costs involved with moving to the cloud: Can we even afford the transition? A full-blown cloud computing enterprise should actually lower costs on the desktop because it can either move to dedicated low-cost network appliances or it can extend the life of existing devices by installing virtual machines. It can also reduce support costs by reducing the need for desktop support. On the other hand, there are infrastructure costs. In order to implement a full-scale cloud, more robust connectivity will be necessary, and there will be additional costs associated with the addition of application support staff.3. If we lose the cloud, Hopefully, the savings on one end will offset the expenses on the other. we lose everything. The fact is, however, that most businesses are notAnother common concern is reliability. The cloud is often as concerned with these direct costs as they are withviewed as a single point of failure: If the cloud fails, the indirect cost savings. These are the savings derived frombusiness fails. The fact is that cloud computing is as reliable the reduction in risk that results from storing data in aas any other enterprise service. Risks can be mitigated by centralized location, improving reliability via patching,working with a network provider to provision redundant and monitoring, say, ten servers instead of hundreds orconnections; at the data center, it’s already a common practice thousands of have multiple servers to provide failover or load balancing. So, should you move your business to the cloud? The technology is certainly compelling, and the fact is that4. I’ll lose control of my data. IT can take it slowly, implementing the parts of the cloud that best meet the needs of the business. As theBecause of the distributed nature of cloud computing, technology becomes even more ubiquitous, the benefitsa common misconception is that once a business has will continue to grow.transitioned its data to the cloud environment, they lose Written by Mike Hanson on behalf of Citrix. Citrix is transformingownership or control over that data. This is of particular how people, businesses, and IT work and collaborate in the cloudconcern for regulated industries like healthcare, energy, or era. Its portfolio of GoTo cloud services enable people to workfinance, and it is a reasonable one, since losing control might from anywhere with anyone by providing simple-to-use cloud-have serious legal or regulatory repercussions. The solution based collaboration, remote access, and IT support solutions foris to be very clear when developing the vendor relationship every type of business. Learn more at andand be very specific when negotiating the contract; clearly who owns the data, where the data will be stored, and Visit for more white papers,any rules on how the data should be archived or destroyed. briefs, and webinars on this topic.