Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Implementing Clouds - What can a baby teach us?

According to a recent survey quoted on this blog by DevX, companies are more likely to virtualize their apps than move them to the cloud.

Maybe it's just me but is that really news?

Honestly, so much has been said and written about this very topic over the past couple of years that I won't bore you by rehashing the details. Suffice it to say that in most cases virtualization is the stepping stone to a Cloud. Typically a virtualized data center leads to what is known as a "private" Cloud, which ultimately helps companies figure out - realistically - what makes sense to farm out to a "public", "hybrid", or "community" Cloud and what to keep in house.

The above analogy is akin to saying that "babies are more likely to crawl than to walk and run". Motherhood and apple pie, anyone? :)

* Originally posted in the ebizQ Cloud Computing forum on January 11, 2011.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is your precious data safer in the Clouds?

It is if you believe this blog that states Cloud computing offers 'no data security fears'. Well, that's a fairly bold statement that sparked a healthy discussion on the ebizQ Cloud Computing forum today.

But, honestly, does it even matter today - whether your data is really safer in the Clouds or not?

From a purely technical perspective the seemingly blatant statement made in the above referenced blog entry might even be true but as the saying goes "perception is reality" and the Cloud is no exception! So while Cloud providers might be the most technically capable of securing data (the potential reality), organizations will still continue to be very leary (because of their risk averse perception) of actually letting go of their control over the data by putting it in the Cloud.

In their defense, though, data security is not just limited to technical ability. Rather, most of the complexity in securing data is actually around legal and privacy issues, which have yet to be figured out adequately such that organizations can adjust their perception.

To be clear, the issue of perception is not just a challenge for Clouds. I still encounter people (even in the technology field) who will not use online banking in the fear that their account information might be exposed. These same people who will not trust SSL to protect their account or credit card information over the Internet will happily hand over their credit card to a complete stranger to take to a backroom and charge them for their meal. And they do so fully knowing that with the right equipment it would only take a few minutes to make a complete working copy of the credit card!!!

So, yes, perception is reality, and thus the real question then is not whether Clouds are safer than in-house data centers but rather if they are or will ever be perceived as such.

* Originally posted on the ebizQ Cloud Computing forum on January 4, 2011.