What are the benefits and risks of cloud computing?

The cloud computing industry has exploded in the last decade, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down in the near future. According to CompTIA, the cloud computing industry will grow to $203 billion by 2020, with $108 billion coming from hardware and software sales alone, while service revenue will account for an additional $95 billion by that time period. While the benefits of cloud computing are numerous, there are some associated risks that you should be aware of if you plan on implementing this data storage method for your business or personal use.

History of Cloud Technology

In a nutshell, Cloud technology has been used in enterprise-level systems for years. But as recently as 2007, Cloud Computing was little more than an umbrella term for utilities like hosting or storage offerings. In 2008, Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced their elastic compute cloud, which began to turn all that around. AWS’s system allows developers to instantly scale servers up or down depending on need; making it easy for them to manage workloads with tools like EC2, S3 and AutoScaling. With these tools, developers could spin up new servers when traffic rose and shut them down just as quickly after traffic fell. Since then, many other providers have entered into what is now called Cloud Computing. Some focus on infrastructure services such as servers and networking equipment while others focus more on software services such as content delivery networks (CDNs).

Advantages to Cloud Computing

There are numerous advantages to using a cloud-based hosting platform over a conventional server. For starters, cloud servers utilize virtualization technology, which utilizes various different servers in order to meet a specific load demand; thus, eliminating downtime issues. Furthermore, companies don’t have to worry about an upgrade or hardware purchase; instead they pay for only what they use. Cloud services can scale up quickly when traffic increases due to search engine optimization (SEO) or word-of-mouth marketing. This means no need for new hardware! Also, companies can access real-time analytic information regarding usage and customer behavior – another great advantage of utilizing such services. In addition, cloud services allow employees to work from anywhere at any time with virtually no down time. Most importantly, however, these companies aren’t responsible for maintaining their own data centers; therefore they save on energy costs while also having less equipment that needs regular maintenance. Cloud computing is definitely a cost effective solution that will benefit many businesses in today’s economy. However there are some disadvantages as well: security is always an issue with computers and one must be careful not to leave their data vulnerable if it is stored on someone else’s servers. Another disadvantage is that if you do not maintain your subscription you may lose all your data with little notice from your provider so it’s important to stay on top of your account status at all times.

Disadvantages to Cloud Computing

There have been many documented instances of cloud computing businesses losing data when moving to cloud-based solutions. It is entirely possible for someone at a provider like Google or Microsoft to click on an incorrect button, leading to a period of downtime as you wait for them to restore your data. If you’re working on anything time sensitive, these hours can be lost wages for your business. Make sure that you have safeguards in place if you do decide to use a provider like Google or Microsoft, such as regular backups and allowing less critical data to live in your Google Drive rather than in your main account storage. You may even want to consider using two providers (Google vs Amazon, etc.) so that there is a backup plan if one has issues with their servers.

Common Myths About Cloud Security

We often hear that companies that store their data on a cloud server have nothing to worry about, but there are still plenty of things for IT pros to be worried about. Here’s what you need to know about security and compliance in a cloud environment. 1. If You Don’t Host It, You Can Still Be Responsible If something goes wrong with your data hosted by an outside company, it could put you in breach for not providing adequate security for your customers or clients. Even if your data is encrypted and stored on someone else’s servers the recipient can come back to you asking why they were hacked if you’re not using good measures to make sure their data is protected too.

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