“Cloud providers have two distinct disadvantages that must be overcome for widespread adoption: a lack of trust in the security and reliability of the service and a lack of assurance provided in the contract terms. Until these two things are overcome, adoption will be narrow,” says Yan Ness, CEO of Online Tech.
Over the last few years, we have learned that there are some clear benefits of using cloud computing services: 1) It provides the expandability to grow your computing infrastructure with your site or application; 2) It provides the flexibility to stop the service at any time without penalty; and 3) The pricing is structured so that you only pay for the processing capabilities that you use.
Along with the benefits, there are several caveats in relying on the service to perform core business-critical tasks. "All of these (cloud-services) companies have very active and very well-trained legal departments. And as a result, the agreements you agree to when you sign up for these services, basically promise you absolutely nothing," said Alex Stamos, a principal security consultant at iSec Partners in a recent interview on CIO.com.
In addition to the lack of promises, a survey conducted by Forrester Research, Inc. last year showed that there are also security concerns. In fact, they found that 51 percent of small and medium-size businesses cited security and privacy concerns as their top reason for not using cloud computing.
In a recent blog post by Yan Ness, the CEO of Online Tech, called “Why the Cloud Needs Colocation,” he explains the need for cloud computing to leverage the experience of a traditional colocation provider. He believes that contract terms will improve with better technology but bridging the trust gap will be the key to the cloud’s success. His proposed solution involves developing an appliance capable of providing the scalability and payment structure of cloud computing but have it hosted in a trusted colocation provider.
This type of solution would allow for a company to choose which part, if any, they want to source to the cloud, should the demand exceed their computing capability. This “spill over” into the cloud would allow companies to truly experience the full value of expandability while maintaining the reliability and security of their application.
“There is no doubt that the trust of cloud computing services will hinge on their performance in 2010 and their ability to face the media when something inevitably goes wrong. A ‘best of both worlds’ colocation solution will need to emerge for cloud computing to succeed in the long term,” concluded Yan Ness.
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