Are You Ready For The Cloud?
Cloud computing refers to the use of computing resources, those being hardware and/or software that reside on a remote machine and are delivered to the end user as a service over a network, with the most prevalent example being the internet. By definition, a user entrusts his data to a remote service, on which has limited to no influence.
Cloud computing offers numerous advantages both to end users and businesses of all sizes. The obvious huge advantage is that you no more have to support the infrastructure or have the knowledge necessary to develop and maintain the infrastructure, development environment or application.The burden has been lifted and someone else is taking care of all that. Business are now able to focus on their core business by outsourcing all the hassle of IT infrastructure.
Some Advantages Are:
This is the biggest advantage of cloud computing, achieved by the elimination of the investment in stand-alone software or servers. By leveraging cloud’s capabilities, companies can save on licensing fees and at the same time eliminate overhead charges such as the cost of data storage, software updates, management etc. The cloud is in general available at much cheaper rates than traditional approaches and can significantly lower the overall IT expenses. At the same time, convenient and scalable charging models have emerged (such as one-time-payment and pay-as-you-go), making the cloud even more attractive.
Convenience and continuous availability
Public clouds offer services that are available wherever the end user might be located. This approach enables easy access to information and accommodates the needs of users in different time zones and geographic locations. As a side benefit, collaboration booms since it is now easier than ever to access, view and modify shared documents and files.
Cloud is environmentally friendly
The cloud is in general more efficient than the typical IT infrastructure and It takes fewer resources to compute, thus saving energy. For example, when servers are not used, the infrastructure normally scales down, freeing up resources and consuming less power. At any moment, only the resources that are truly needed are consumed by the
As made clear from the above, cloud computing is a tool that offers enormous benefits to its adopters. However, being a tool, it also comes with its set of problems and inefficiencies. Let’s address the most significant ones.
Security and privacy in the Cloud
Security is the biggest concern when it comes to cloud computing. By leveraging a remote cloud based infrastructure, a company essentially gives away private data and information, things that might be sensitive and confidential. It is then up to the cloud service provider to manage, protect and retain them, thus the provider’s reliability is very critical. A company’s existence might be put in jeopardy, so all possible alternatives should be explored before a decision. On the same note, even end users might feel uncomfortable surrendering their data to a third party.
Dependency and vendor lock-in
One of the major disadvantages of cloud computing is the implicit dependency on the provider. This is what the industry calls “vendor lock-in” since it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to migrate from a provider once you have rolled with him. If a user wishes to switch to some other provider, then it can be really painful and
cumbersome to transfer huge data from the old provider to the new one. This is another reason why you should carefully and thoroughly contemplate all options when picking a vendor.
Technical Difficulties and Downtime
Certainly the smaller business will enjoy not having to deal with the daily technical issues and will prefer handing those to an established IT company, however you should keep in mind that all systems might face dysfunctions from time to time. Outage and downtime is possible even to the best cloud service providers, as the past has shown.
Additionally, you should remember that the whole setup is dependent on internet access, thus any network or connectivity problems will render the setup useless. As a minor detail, also keep in mind that it might take several minutes for the cloud to detect a server fault and launch a new instance from an image snapshot.
If you have any system questions or concerns, contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department at 800.672.4806 or email us.