Friday, January 13, 2012

Cloud Computing Advantages & DisAdvantages

In this post we will discuss about what is Cloud computing as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

Also you can check out my previous posts on:

- Architectural changes in SharePoint 2013

- Enable Sign in as Different User Option in SharePoint 2013

- New microblogging features in SharePoint 2013

In general terms:
Cloud computing is a system in which software programs and applications are accessed and used virtually through an Internet connection. The “cloud” actually refers to the Internet. The software is usually hosted on multiple servers in various locations. Normally the user does not know where the software is located and this is irrelevant in any case. Multiple users from the same company can access the software from anywhere that they have an Internet connection. The costs of cloud computing are normally based on a usage model, with payments being charged on a time usage basis or an occurrence basis.Cloud computing is a marketing term for technologies that provide computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. End-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service.

1- The biggest facility that cloud computing provides is access to a variety of applications. More importantly, user has neither to install software for this nor face any storage problems.

2- Flexibility: One of the major benefits of cloud computing is that there is no limitation of place and medium. We can reach our applications and data anywhere in the world, on any system.

3- Synchronization and Integrity: Business people can share their data or documents on internet and at one place. They are independent of carrying any specific hardware or software with them.

4- Cost Saving. Companies can save big by employing cloud computing as it eliminates cost for hardware and software as the company will be using the IT infrastructure of the cloud hosting company instead. In a normal setup, company needs to buy hardware and software licenses to operate a network. The amount of data of the company also dictates the amount of storage space needed. With cloud computing, company uses the resources of the hosting company to store their data and applications. Companies also pay for use of the software and programs by paying a subscription fee on an as-needed basis thereby eliminating the need to buy software licenses per employee or for the entire organization.

5- Immediate Access to Software Program. With cloud computing, an organization can have immediate access to any software or program that they need instead of going through the process of software testing and then installing the software across the enterprise as the cloud hosting company has a whole suit of software and applications available for easy access to all their subscribed clients.

Data and Application on the Go. Since data and application can be access by authorized users from any device anywhere in the world as long as there is Internet connectivity, users can have easy access to their data anytime they want just by accessing the cloud. This gives employees flexibility as they can work and access their data, as if they are physically located in their office, whichever part of the world they are located.

6- Ensure 100% Uptime. Since Cloud Hosting companies have build their infrastructure to ensure 100% uptime by providing redundant services, businesses will be guaranteed that they will experience no down-time which is critical, as any seconds of lost connectivity can mean loss of business and income for a company.

7- Easier Management of Data and Information. Since all data are located on a centralized location, data are more organized making it easy to manage. All transactions are also recorded so management can easily track activities of their employees.

1- Dependency: Among certain limitations of cloud computing is users’ dependency on the provider. That means internet users don’t have their data stored with them.

2- Risk: Cloud computing services mean taking services from remote servers. User doesn’t have control over their software. Also, there is always insecurity regarding stored documents. Nothing can be recreated if their servers go out of service.

3- Migration Problems: In case the user has to switch to some other provider, there are migration issues. It’s not easy to transfer huge data from one provider to the other.

4- Dependence on Network Connectivity. Since data and application are accessed via Internet, a downtime on network connection means that users don’t have access to data and applications in the cloud. But this is just a temporary problem which can be easily resolved and addressed by your company’s Internet Service Provider.

5- Compatibility with Company’s Existing Peripheral and Devices. An organization must make sure that peripherals such as printers are compatible with cloud computing. Otherwise, they will have to purchase new equipment that will work with cloud technology which will bring additional cost to the company.

6- Security. Companies might feel uncomfortable knowing that their data is not physically located in their premises and is stored in a virtual server which makes responsibility on the security of the data difficult to determine. Since Cloud computing is still a relatively new technology, there are still not much laws enacted on the protection of data stored in the cloud. Since everything is done via the Internet, hackers might find it easier to steal information on the cloud than on a physical server.