Best Beneficial Things Of Using Cloud Computing

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While cloud computing is undoubtedly beneficial for mid-size to large companies, it is not without its downsides, especially for smaller businesses. We now bring you a list of advantages of disadvantages of cloud computing, with a view to helping such establishments fully understand the concept of cloud computing.Cloud computing is now evolving like never before, with companies of all shapes and sizes adapting to this new technology. Industry experts believe that this trend will only continue to grow and develop even further in the coming few years.

Advantages of Cloud Computing are as follows :

If used properly and to the extent necessary, working with data in the cloud can vastly benefit all types of businesses. Mentioned below are some of the advantages of this technology.

Cost Efficient

Cloud computing is probably the most cost-efficient method to use, maintain and upgrade. Traditional desktop software costs companies a lot in terms of finance. Adding up the licensing fees for multiple users can prove to be very expensive for the establishment concerned. The cloud, on the other hand, is available at much cheaper rates and hence, can significantly lower the company’s IT expenses. Besides, there are many one-time-payment, pay-as-you-go and other scalable options available, which makes it very reasonable for the company in question.

Almost Unlimited Storage

Storing information in the cloud gives you almost unlimited storage capacity. Hence, you no more need to worry about running out of storage space or increasing your current storage space availability.

Backup and Recovery

Since all your data is stored in the cloud, backing it up and restoring the same is relatively much easier than storing the same on a physical device. Furthermore, most cloud service providers are usually competent enough to handle recovery of information. Hence, this makes the entire process of backup and recovery much simpler than other traditional methods of data storage.

Automatic Software Integration

In the cloud, software integration is usually something that occurs automatically. This means that you do not need to take additional efforts to customize and integrate your applications as per your preferences. This aspect usually takes care of itself. Not only that, cloud computing allows you to customize your options with great ease. Hence, you can handpick just those services and software applications that you think will best suit your particular enterprise.

Easy Access to Information

Once you register yourself in the cloud, you can access the information from anywhere, where there is an Internet connection. This convenient feature lets you move beyond time zone and geographic location issues.

Cloud Computing – Is it Possible to Assign a Standard?

Quick Deployment

Lastly and most importantly, cloud computing gives you the advantage of quick deployment. Once you opt for this method of functioning, your entire system can be fully functional in a matter of a few minutes. Of course, the amount of time taken here will depend on the exact kind of technology that you need for your business.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing are as follows :

In spite of its many benefits, as mentioned above, cloud computing also has its disadvantages. Businesses, especially smaller ones, need to be aware of these cons before going in for this technology.

Technical Issues

Though it is true that information and data on the cloud can be accessed anytime and from anywhere at all, there are times when this system can have some serious dysfunction. You should be aware of the fact that this technology is always prone to outages and other technical issues. Even the best cloud service providers run into this kind of trouble, in spite of keeping up high standards of maintenance. Besides, you will need a very good Internet connection to be logged onto the server at all times. You will invariably be stuck in case of network and connectivity problems.

Security in the Cloud

The other major issue while in the cloud is that of security issues. Before adopting this technology, you should know that you will be surrendering all your company’s sensitive information to a third-party cloud service provider. This could potentially put your company at great risk. Hence, you need to make absolutely sure that you choose the most reliable service provider, who will keep your information totally secure.

Prone to Attack

Storing information in the cloud could make your company vulnerable to external hack attacks and threats. As you are well aware, nothing on the Internet is completely secure and hence, there is always the lurking possibility of stealth of sensitive data.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing is now evolving like never before, with companies of all shapes and sizes adapting to this new technology. Industry experts believe that this trend will only continue to grow and develop even further in the coming few years. While cloud computing is undoubtedly beneficial for mid-size to large companies, it is not without its downsides, especially for smaller businesses. 

As more and more charities and libraries move to cloud services, this technology is no longer novel: it’s becoming the dominant paradigm in IT.When Tech Soup surveyed NGOs, nonprofits, and charities around the world in 2012, we found that lack of knowledge was the biggest barrier to adopting cloud services. We suspect that it is still a barrier. This article will help you understand what the cloud is and support you in investigating whether cloud solutions are right for your organization. We’ll introduce some basic cloud computing terminology and outline some of the advantages and disadvantages to cloud computing.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Tierney Smith of TechSoup Canada sums up the advantages nicely: “The move towards the cloud holds a lot of exciting potential for nonprofits of all sizes. Not only are many organizations able to realize cost savings through not having to run and maintain their own server(s) (or pay a consultant to do so), many cloud tools enable new levels of sharing and collaboration, which can transform how we work. We live in a world where our supporters are looking to us for greater transparency and there is an increasing need to partner with other organizations to achieve real impact. Using the right cloud tools can help us break down the barriers we currently face and be the more open, effective, and resilient organizations that we need to be.”

Reduced Support and Hardware Needs

As you move more business-critical applications into the cloud, you’ll likely find that you don’t need to upgrade computers as regularly, and many employees can make do without higher-end computers. That’s because the actual computing isn’t happening on the computer: A $200 tablet can access your Salesforce and Google Apps accounts just as quickly as a $2,000 premium laptop can. Similarly, you may find that a cloud computing infrastructure requires a smaller IT staff than a traditional IT setup does because your organization won’t be managing the software anymore.

Anywhere, Anytime Collaboration

Software as a service can act as a great simplifier for many organizations. If you have staff members working off-site, they can access their work just as easily at home as they can in the office. If they’re using a private or secure Wi-Fi connection, there’s also no need to set up a virtual phone services (VPN).What’s more, cloud tools can make it easier to collaborate with colleagues from outside the organization. If you’re planning an event with staff from another nonprofit, for example, it’s easy to create a Basecamp project where everyone can see each other’s work. People working in the same organization might benefit from team collaboration tools like shared calendars, video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing via Office 365.

A Green Choice

Cloud computing solutions are also generally greener than traditional IT because they require less in-office IT equipment. While huge datacenters require a lot of electricity, it’s still a lot less than the thousands of office-grade computers it would take to perform the same big tasks. Large cloud computing providers can also optimize their datacenters for energy efficiency much more precisely than manufacturers of desktops and laptops can.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Security and Availability

Security and availability are still the main concerns that most people have about relying on cloud-based services.You’ve probably heard of the many high-profile news stories of security breaches in cloud-based services. Although you should certainly think about the implications of a breach in your organizational data, you should also consider that in both cloud-based and on-premises software, most security breaches are attributable to human error. That is one reason why we published our 12 Tips to Being Safer Online.When thinking about cloud security and availability, you should also have a realistic sense of your current technology situation. Fears about the cloud are sometimes based on a utopian vision of an organization’s current situation. Odds are that your security isn’t perfect, you don’t have 100 percent systems uptime, and you may not have staff resources dedicated to IT management. In the cloud, security and management are in the hands of trained, dedicated experts.

Cloud Vendors Going Out of Business

Cloud computing is still a quickly changing field, and there’s always the danger that a new company might go out of business or radically change its service. A sudden change in service might not be too detrimental if you were only using the application for a one-time project, but it could be disastrous if you were using it for your entire donor database.When evaluating cloud providers, find out what options you have for backing up and extracting your data. The best services allow you to download your data in a standard, nonproprietary format.

The Need for Reliable Internet Service

Finally, you will become more dependent on a good Internet connection if you rely on the cloud. As more mission-critical work is done on the Internet, organizations will need much more bandwidth and few, if any, failures in Internet connectivity. If consistent Internet access, connection speed, or bandwidth are problems for your organization, cloud solutions may not be right for you at this time.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing is here and virtually every organization is using it in some way, shape, or form. Educating yourself and your people on the opportunities and risks associated with this technology is of the utmost importance. Let’s look at the opportunities presented by cloud computing, managing the risks associated with housing your sensitive data offsite, using virtual computing environments, and vendor management considerations as you explore your cloud options.

Cloud computing, in turn, refers to sharing resources, software, and information via a network, in this case the Internet. The information is stored on physical servers maintained and controlled by a cloud computing provider, such as Apple in regards to iCloud. As a user, you access your stored information on the cloud via the Internet.By using cloud storage, you don’t have to store the information on your own hard drive. Instead, you can access it from any location and download it onto any device of your choice, including laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Moreover, you can also edit files, such as Word documents or PowerPoint presentations, simultaneously with other users, making it easier to work away from the office.There are different types of cloud computing services available to suit different needs. While some cater to individual users who want to store photos, documents, and videos, others are destined for companies that need extensive platforms to develop IT applications, for example.Depending on your needs, the prices will vary. As an individual user, you can get an initial amount of storage for free, such as 5GB with iCloud. If you need additional storage, you will have to pay a fee. Fees are usually set at monthly or yearly rates, depending on the services you are using.

Advantages

1.Worldwide Access. Cloud computing increases mobility, as you can access your documents from any device in any part of the world. For businesses, this means that employees can work from home or on business trips, without having to carry around documents. This increases productivity and allows faster exchange of information. Employees can also work on the same document without having to be in the same place.

2.More Storage. In the past, memory was limited by the particular device in question. If you ran out of memory, you would need a USB drive to backup your current device. Cloud computing provides increased storage, so you won’t have to worry about running out of space on your hard drive.

3.Easy Set-Up. You can set up a cloud computing service in a matter of minutes. Adjusting your individual settings, such as choosing a password or selecting which devices you want to connect to the network, is similarly simple. After that, you can immediately start using the resources, software, or information in question.

4.Automatic Updates. The cloud computing provider is responsible for making sure that updates are available – you just have to download them. This saves you time, and furthermore, you don’t need to be an expert to update your device; the cloud computing provider will automatically notify you and provide you with instructions.

5.Reduced Cost. Cloud computing is often inexpensive. The software is already installed online, so you won’t need to install it yourself. There are numerous cloud computing applications available for free, such as Dropbox, and increasing storage size and memory is affordable. If you need to pay for a cloud computing service, it is paid for incrementally on a monthly or yearly basis. By choosing a plan that has no contract, you can terminate your use of the services at any time; therefore, you only pay for the services when you need them.

Disadvantages

1.Security. When using a cloud computing service, you are essentially handing over your data to a third party. The fact that the entity, as well as users from all over the world, are accessing the same server can cause a security issue. Companies handling confidential information might be particularly concerned about using cloud computing, as data could possibly be harmed by viruses and other malware. That said, some servers like Google Cloud Connect come with customizable spam filtering, email encryption, and SSL enforcement for secure HTTPS access, among other security measures.

2.Privacy. Cloud computing comes with the risk that unauthorized users might access your information. To protect against this happening, cloud computing services offer password protection and operate on secure servers with data encryption technology.

3.Loss of Control. Cloud computing entities control the users. This includes not only how much you have to pay to use the service, but also what information you can store, where you can access it from, and many other factors. You depend on the provider for updates and backups. If for some reason, their server ceases to operate, you run the risk of losing all your information.

4.Internet Reliance. While Internet access is increasingly widespread, it is not available everywhere just yet. If the area that you are in doesn’t have Internet access, you won’t be able to open any of the documents you have stored in the cloud.

The Main Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing, in turn, refers to sharing resources, software, and information via a network, in this case the Internet. The information is stored on physical servers maintained and controlled by a cloud computing provider, such as Apple in regards to iCloud. As a user, you access your stored information on the cloud via the Internet.By using cloud storage, you don’t have to store the information on your own hard drive. Instead, you can access it from any location and download it onto any device of your choice, including laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Moreover, you can also edit files, such as Word documents or PowerPoint presentations, simultaneously with other users, making it easier to work away from the office.There are different types of cloud computing services available to suit different needs. While some cater to individual users who want to store photos, documents, and videos, others are destined for companies that need extensive platforms to develop IT applications, for example.Depending on your needs, the prices will vary. As an individual user, you can get an initial amount of storage for free, such as 5GB with iCloud. If you need additional storage, you will have to pay a fee. Fees are usually set at monthly or yearly rates, depending on the services you are using. 

If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need compute resources: CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which resources you choose for your delivery, cloud-based or local, is up to you. But you’ll definitely want to do your homework first. Cloud computing has certainly benefited many enterprises by reducing costs and allowing them to concentrate on their core business competence rather than IT and infrastructure issues. But, for all the generally well-earned hype, there are still distinct disadvantages of Cloud Computing – especially relating to smaller operations – that you should consider before taking the leap. In this post, I’ll try to offer some key concerns along with strategies for addressing them.

The six main disadvantages of Cloud Computing:

1) Downtime

This may be one of the worst disadvantages of cloud computing. No cloud provider, even the very best, would claim immunity to service outages. Cloud computing systems are internet based, which means your access is fully dependent on your Internet connection. And, like any hardware, cloud platforms themselves can fail for any one of a thousand reasons.Can your business absorb a prolonged bout of frequent outages or slowdowns? And don’t think it doesn’t happen. 2014 saw more than a few incidents where service providers like DropBox faced an outage for as long as two days. Consider these two key points:

Which of your business processes can be delayed or halted if the service provider goes down?

When your internet connection is down, all your applications drop offline.Best Practices for minimizing planned downtime in an SAP environment:Demand a service level agreement (SLA) from your provider guaranteeing uptimes in excess of 99.55% (which equals 1.83 days of downtime a year, or 3.60 hours of downtime a month).

2) Cloud Computing disadvantages: security and privacy

Any discussion involving data must address security and privacy, especially when it comes to managing sensitive data. We mustn’t forget Code Space and what happened to it after its AWS EC2 console was hacked and its data eventually deleted, forcing the company to close doors forever. By leveraging a remote cloud based infrastructure, a company basically outsources everything it has.Of course, your cloud service provider is expected to manage and safeguard the underlying hardware infrastructure of a deployment, however remote access is your responsibility and, in any case, no system is perfectly secure. You’ll have to carefully weigh all the risk scenarios.After the recent leaks of celebrity pictures and countless millions of user login credentials, the privacy of your cloud-based data is another consideration. How much can you trust your provider? Can you face this, which is one of the riskiest disadvantages of cloud computing?

Best practices for minimizing security and privacy risks:

A.Know who is supposed to have access to each resource and service B.Limit data access based on user context C.Take a risk-based approach to securing assets used in the cloud D.Extend security to the device E.Add intelligence to network protection F.Build in the ability to see through the cloud

3) Cloud Computing disadvantages: vulnerability to attack

In cloud computing, every component is potentially accessible from the Internet. Of course, nothing connected to the Internet is perfectly secure and even the best teams suffer severe attacks and security breeches. But since cloud computing is built as a public service and it’s easy to run before you learn to walk. No one at AWS checks your administration skills before granting you an account: all it takes to get started is a valid credit card.

Best practices to help you reduce cloud attacks:

A..Identify threats by correlating real-time alerts with global security intelligence B..Proactively protect information C..Automate security through IT compliance controls D..Prevent data exfiltration E..Integrate prevention and response strategies into security operations F..Discover rogue projects with audits G.Authenticate identities

These practices will help your organization to monitor for the exposure and movement of critical data, defend crucial systems from attack and compromise, and authenticate access to infrastructure and data. And they keep away you from further risks and disadvantages of cloud computing.

4) Limited control and flexibility

To varying degrees (depending on the particular service) cloud users have limited control over the function and execution of their hosting infrastructure. Cloud provider EULAs and management policies might impose limits on what customers can do with their deployments. Customers are also limited to the control and management of their applications, data, and services, but not the backend infrastructure. Of course, none of this will normally be a problem, but it should be taken into account.

5) Cloud Computing platform dependencies

Implicit dependency, also known as “vendor lock-in” is another of the disadvantages of cloud computing. Deep-rooted differences between vendor systems can sometimes make it impossible to migrate from one cloud platform to another. Not only can it be complex and expensive to reconfigure your applications to meet the requirements of a new host, but migration could also expose your data to additional security and privacy vulnerabilities.

Best Practices to decrease dependency:

Properly understanding what your vendors are selling can help avoid lock-in problems in the cloud. In fact, under the hood, many vendors use the same open source components, building proprietary solutions from their own unique recipes. Knowing what’s really going on and planning ahead can make a big difference.

6) Cloud Computing costs

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Cloud computing – especially on a small scale and for short term projects – can be pricey. Though it can allow you to reduce staff and hardware costs, the overall price tag could end up higher than you expected. Until you’re sure of what will work best for you, it’s a good idea to experiment with a variety of offerings. You might also make use of the cost calculators made available by providers like Amazon’s AWS and Google’s GCP.

Best practices to reduce costs:

A..Scale DOWN as well as UP B..Pre-pay if you have a known minimum usage C..Stop your Instances when unused! D..Watch out for waste – Cloud Sprawl E..Set Smart Alerts F..Cost is a proxy for Usage