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/

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Cloud Infographic – Cyber Security And The New Frontier

Cloud Infographic – Cyber Security And The New Frontier

Cyber Security: The New Frontier The security environment of the 21st century is constantly evolving, and it’s difficult to predict where the next threats and dangers will come from. But one thing is clear: the ever-expanding frontier of digital space will continue to present firms and governments with security challenges. From politically-motivated Denial-of-Service attacks to…

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

What Is The Internet of Things? “We’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.”  – Scott Cook The Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Systems are based on the notions of Sensors, Connectivity, People and Processes. We are creating a new world to view and measure anything around us through…

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts

Cloud Infographic – Cloud Fast Facts It’s no secret that Cloud Computing is more than just a buzz term as that ship has sailed off a long time ago. More and more companies are adopting the uses and benefits of cloud computing while aggressively factoring cloud services spending into their budget. Included is an excellent…

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

Cloud Infographic – The Internet Of Things In 2020

The Internet Of Things In 2020 The growing interest in the Internet of Things is amongst us and there is much discussion. Attached is an archived but still relevant infographic by Intel which has produced a memorizing snapshot at how the number of connected devices have exploded since the birth of the Internet and PC.…

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery  Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and…

CONNECT TO THE CLOUD

 

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Branded Content Programs

Advertising