Head in the Clouds, Feet Firmly on the Ground

Head in the Clouds, Feet Firmly on the Ground

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”
– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish playwright, Nobel laureate.

Often, at management seminars, speakers talk about “dreaming with your eyes open.” Leaving aside the fact that a literal interpretation can actually be harmful – imagine dreaming with your eyes open when driving – what they try to convey is to think of the possibilities while being grounded in reality. In other words, be careful.

However, there’s something as being too careful. Smaller customers of cloud computing are behaving in a similar fashion if the results of a recent study are anything to go by. While embracing the cloud and allowing their data to be stored remotely, they still can’t get over the loss of physical control. Hence, the preference for local data centers.

This is the finding of a recent Microsoft survey carried out among 3,258 companies across 16 countries. Conducted in association with technology consultancy Edge Strategies, this survey found that 82% of the respondents would consider local presence of the vendor as “highly important” when it came to choice of cloud computing services.

I had referenced this survey, titled “SMB Cloud Adoption Study 2011” in an earlier article. (See: Microsoft Study Says 40% of SMBs to Go On Cloud within 3 Years) While the criticality of local presence was mentioned, the article focused more on the fact that “39% of SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) expect to be paying for one or more cloud services within three years.” Now, I would like to discuss this “local” factor in further detail.

In my opinion, this stipulation defeats many of the advantages of going on the cloud. While the consumer may get some benefits of decreased costs and increased efficiencies, many advantages like redundancy and scalability are lost, especially if the local data centers are limited in size and capability. Such a move is akin to handing over the operation of your own data center to a third party, and not much more.

Think about it. All your data is in a single local data center. There’s a sudden fire that destroys that data center, and consequently, your data as well. Replace fire with any natural disaster, even man-made ones like a disgruntled employee or an unscrupulous competitor, and it’s the same story. Essentially, you are putting all your eggs in one basket. So, how have you protected yourself by going on the cloud? With multiple data centers spread across multiple locations, you are protected.

See: Earthquakes and Cloud Computing

See: Is Cloud Computing Secure? Yes, Another Perspective

Here’s another thought. You are the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of a SMB that wants to go on the cloud, and as per the results of the Microsoft study, choose a vendor with a local data center. In one fell swoop, you’ve eliminated many vendors from contention just because they do not have data centers nearby, some of whom could have actually served your needs better. In other words, you are yourself responsible for restricting your options.

Here’s another hypothetical scenario to push my case. Suppose there’s a no-name cloud computing vendor with a local presence and there’s Amazon with a data center 2,000 miles away. Do you reject an established leader in cloud computing like Amazon to opt for a “local” vendor just because it’s local? Cloud computing is not plumbing where all providers have the same skills and proximity is important.

I believe that SMBs suffer from a mistaken sense of security if data centers are local. It’s not that they can do something useful if something goes wrong – if there’s a fire at the fire station you don’t advise the firemen how to deal with it – it’s just that proximity to their data gives them comfort. However, for that false sense of comfort, they end up jeopardizing their business.

The whole idea of cloud computing is opening up avenues not accessible through traditional IT infrastructure, leveraging the power of the World Wide Web to the optimum level. With the “go local” mentality, this idea is negated. However, as the field matures, I am confident that this attitude will evaporate.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Share

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Advertising Programs

Click To Find Out!

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored Posts

CloudTweaks has enjoyed a great relationship with many businesses, influencers and readers over the years, and it is one that we are interested in continuing. When we meet up with prospective clients, our intent is to establish a more solid relationship in which our clients invest in a campaign that consists of a number of

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues

Cloud Computing Adoption Continues Nowadays, many companies are changing their overall information technology strategies to embrace cloud computing in order to open up business opportunities.  There are numerous definitions of cloud computing. Simply speaking, the term “cloud computing” comes from network diagrams in which cloud shapes are  used to describe certain types of networks. All

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

An excellent infographic provided by AwesomeCloud which predicts a continued high level of growth in the cloud computing industry. Potentially staggering numbers for Public Cloud IT Services of $100 Billion by 2016. Infographic Source: AwesomeCloud About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Whitepapers

Top Research Assets

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

Explore how cloud computing is a solution to the problems facing data centers today and highlights the cutting-edge technology (including OpenStack cloud computing) that HP is bringing to the current stage. If you are a CTO, data center administrator, systems architect, or an IT professional looking for an enterprise-grade, hybrid delivery cloud computing solution that’s open,

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security Cloud applications are a priority for every business – the technology is flexible, easy-to-use, and offers compelling economic benefits to the enterprise. The challenge is that cloud applications increase the potential for corporate data to leak, raising compliance and security concerns for IT. A primary security concern facing organizations moving