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Information Technology and Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing  Myths and truths 

28 April 2022

Companies, seeking greater agility, are increasingly adopting the cloud as a viable option. However, several myths about this technology make the boards of organizations afraid to adopt Cloud Computing (cloud computing). in this post, we will understand what is Cloud and what are its main myths and truths. 

 

Cloud computing continues to be plagued by “myths” or dubious information. These myths can stunt business growth, stifle innovation, and instill fear in corporate decision-making. Despite the fact that in recent years cloud computing has become extremely popular, some of the fallacies that emerged at the time of its creation still persist, as well as new “myths” on the subject. 

In this post we will see the following topics:
 

What is Cloud Computing?

Let's start with the concept of cloud computing, which in general terms is the distribution of IT resources on demand. Instead of buying its own servers and datacenters, the company pays according to use, in a scalable way, that is, resources can be expanded or reduced according to business needs, data volume or even the number of users of different applications.  

One of the great advantages of Cloud applications and services is that the processing and storage take place on machines and servers outside the company, requiring only an internet connection. This way you can store information, create virtual machines, applications and many other services. All this compendium of possibilities fits as Cloud Computing solutions. 

One of the main providers of this type of service is Microsoft and we recently a post about the company's Cloud service, called Azure. 

Let's go to the myths and the technical explanation of why they are not compatible with reality. 

Myth #1: Security 

The security of public cloud infrastructure has always been a top concern for CEOs and a barrier to cloud adoption. On the other hand, all the major players that offer this type of service (such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon, for example) have made significant investments in their fundamental security features in recent years.

The business model of a Cloud Computing provider has the best technology in security investing billions of dollars in hiring resources and professionals. There are several tools and possibilities to provide redundancy and protection of all data passing through the network. In fact, it is common to see that security breaches are much more frequent on the client side (who hires the cloud) than on the server side (who offers the cloud).  

It is important to point out that, in addition to digital security, composed of several encryption elements, firewalls and additional layers of security, there is physical security in the data centers, guaranteeing a secure perimeter against intruders, as well as data distribution in several distant data centers a from others (so that even if an environmental disaster occurs that destroys the entire data center, the information remains safe because it is also saved in other locations). 

The video below shows one of Google's data centers, which has 6 different layers of security, including fences, walls, guards, restricted access control, among others. This shows us that the physical security of Cloud Computing providers is much higher than the vast majority of companies for their own datacenters. 

Myth #2: Latency

“Applications running in the cloud have more latency than applications running on internal networks.”

This is a common phrase to hear as one of the reasons not to adopt Cloud Computing. It might have made some sense a decade ago, but the truth is that it no longer applies today.  

Some leaders fear that when they transition to the cloud, they will experience greater latency on a cloud server's network than on their own network. Latency, however, is usually related to the IT department accessing/retrieving data through internal data centers.

Routing traffic through internal networks (also called backhauling), can create high latency as well as additional complexity for network users in general. Therefore, for this not to happen, the IT department must have experience and confidence in cloud solutions to rely as little as possible on on-premises data centers.  

Myth #3: Cost

Another widespread myth to date is that structuring the Cloud will cost more than structuring your own data center.  

The truth is that this is a complex issue, which involves many variables, such as, for example, the company's real demand, the correct optimization of resources and the current stage of maturity of its systems, that is, how much this company is fact with its processes inserted in the digital environment. 

In IT governance, it is common to observe that we have different cost modalities. Azure, for example, uses CapEx and OpEx concepts to justify its cost. You can find more information about this topic on this link. 

The main difference is that CapEx (Capital Expenditure) costs are related to the acquisition of equipment (servers and machines, for example), where a greater initial investment is required (which tends to “pay for itself” over time). On the other hand, costs considered OpEx (Operational Expenditure) there is not a large initial cost, as they are related to payment on demand, according to the use of contracted resources (cost of contracting Cloud resources, for example). However, in the long run, it can be more expensive than building your own data center. 

The important point, which is worth mentioning, is that even acquiring all the equipment necessary to have a local data center (CapEx), it does not exempt the company from having operating costs related to the maintenance and operation of this equipment (OpEx).  

Therefore, the ideal is to correctly size the demand that will be used from the Data Center, and then decide if the best option is to keep it locally or take it to the cloud. Most of the time, the cloud represents a lower cost. 

Truths about Cloud Computing 

Finally, as not everything is flowers, let's analyze a truth about Cloud Computing that can indeed be considered a negative point: imprisonment. 

How so? 

Although not impossible to do, most companies make the migration process to the competition difficult. Whether due to technological incompatibilities or administrative reasons, it is not an easy process to migrate an entire data infrastructure from AWS to GCP, or from Azure to Alibaba and so on.

This practice, known as “lock-in”, makes customers practically prisoners of the contracted services. 

Obviously, with a good team and good professionals, it's possible to do all kinds of migrations, but this is probably one of the only myths about Cloud that has a bit of truth. 

So, did you like the post? Share on your networks and leave your comments about your perceptions. Thank you and see you next time. 

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