Any good IT manager researches before moving data to the cloud, and some of the first articles you’ll find on the Internet report concerns and security issues regarding cloud reliability.
How serious is the problem? Far and away, many security concerns are based on bad myths. With reputable cloud hosting, company data is more secure, and the accompanying added convenience allows IT managers to focus on more important issues. Here’s why.
Myth 1: Cloud Storage is Less Secure than Local Storage
Hosting data in the cloud can be more secure than hosting locally, provided the cloud host and IT manager work together. First, local storage rarely uses encryption. Some local data centers are the exception, but most IT firms store data without encryption. This can be a problem that fails to keep certain industry security standards. Additionally, if the locally stored data is encrypted, there’s usually a good chance those encryption keys are stored in the same location. With cloud hosting, the data is encrypted at the host, and the business can store keys on its local network. This separates the encrypted data from its decryption source, making it more secure in the cloud.
Myth 2: The Cloud Complicates Architecture
Cloud computing requires knowledge of the Internet, but cloud infrastructure is typically new to an IT manager moving data to cloud storage. The cloud can actually make it easier to manage resources and data. Most cloud hosts offer a dashboard where the manager can log in and scale settings from a user-friendly interface. This means that managers can add terabytes and even petabytes of storage to their data center within minutes. There’s no need for purchasing equipment, finding space or waiting days for the space to be available.
Myth 3: Getting Stuck with One Cloud Provider
Some cloud hosts have proprietary systems, and the customer gets stuck with the same hosts. Reputable hosts offer resilient ways to move between different cloud hosts. For instance, Rackspace uses OpenStack, which gives businesses the ability to run software or infrastructure on a scalable operating system that won’t lock them in to one, single cloud provider.
Myth 4: Too Many Issues to Move Data
Every large infrastructure move has its pros and cons. If the move isn’t executed properly, bugs and errors occur that take up more time than it’s worth. However, if done the right way with the right cloud support, the initiative to move to the cloud can be successful the first time. Your cloud host should help document and plan data transfers, and a disaster recovery plan should be created. Disaster recovery plans provide a rollback procedure and bug-fix documentation to account for any future issues.
Myth 5: Outsourcing to the Cloud Compromises My Job
Everyone likes job security, and some IT managers think that by hosting in the cloud, they move themselves out of a job. Managing data and resources are only part of an IT person’s job, and plenty of management resources are needed to scale, test, deploy and add to the cloud environment. Cloud host support teams ensure the internal hardware runs efficiently, but how the hardware and cloud resources are used is up to the business. Cloud hosting is meant to facilitate more convenient network management, and it does not threaten IT jobs.
Don’t let the myths drive you away from a cloud upgrade that can benefit the business. The cloud offers the security and convenience for better, faster applications and infrastructure. ‘Nuff said.
About the Author
Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer. She occasionally blogs for open cloud company Rackspace Hosting.