Cloud computing has a lot of benefits to offer the enterprise, and just like any other IT infrastructure, the main requirement expected from it is that it’ll work. Cloud reliably as a phrase encompasses a very broad spectrum of areas and considerations, and one of the most important ones is availability.
Maximizing system uptime is vital in the enterprise space, which becomes more and more – and often almost completely – dependent on IT infrastructure. Traditional infrastructure is not a very adequate means of answering that requirement, but the cloud and virtualization changed all that. Companies today are able to significantly reduce the margin of error when it comes to system availability, but incidents such as the recent Gmail crash as well as others have demonstrated that with advancement came new reliability concerns which need to be addressed. Among these, data protection stands out.
Despite the system unavailability and data loss incidents above, the cloud is a lot of times (if not mostly) equally or more reliable and secure than traditional infrastructure. Still, data protection concerns represent the primary reason why companies are not joining the c loud, and the foremost consideration for all others. This is ideally addressed by a hybrid approach where only some of a company’s data is stored in the cloud, as well as other measures – some of which noted in an IT-Director.com article written by Dr Fern Halper from consulting firm Hurwitz & Associates.
Data integrity assurance measures, business continuity plans to guarantee maximum infrastructure availability, polices to avoid vendor lock-in and backup should all be implemented to minimize the risk in migrating to the cloud.
Data integrity and backup are some of the most important matters needed to be addressed in the enterprise cloud space, but security and privacy have always received a special emphasis. A Forrester study which surveyed more than 2,200 IT executives revealed 49 percent of enterprise respondents said security and privacy concerns is their top reason for not using cloud computing, and this is only one example of many.
Overall, security may be the strongest barrier standing between the enterprise and the cloud. However, cloud reliability is indeed a very general phrase, which encompasses system availability and data integrity as well as security among other things. These 3 areas are all surrounded by a tremendous amount of demand, and an ever-growing pool of increasingly effective offerings addressing this demand is on a course to solidify the cloud as this decade’s IT game changer.