back to article Trust and risk in the cloud

Stick enough kit and multi-tenant software in one huge data centre and there is no arguing with the economies of scale that can be achieved. Megahosters like Google and Microsoft playing this game can deliver web search capability and online consumer services such as email, office and social networking tools at minimal cost per …


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  1. LPF

    The are major problems with cloud!

    But the Biggest one is DATA all it needs is for you NET connection to go down or for you to get into a dispute with your provider and you are cut off from business critical data , that is plain insanity.

    The cloud is OK for when you need additional resouces to add to your own service , such as more webservers to provide addtional bandwidth , if you are an online retailer , during the holiday shopping period, but you NEVER EVER allow your critial data to be controlled by someone else!

  2. Robko

    Risk or cold feet

    Yes, risk is an issue, but with the right risk policy and data protection plan you can choose the right provider for your services. And there you find where the cold feet come from. Internally we still have the benefit of being on premise, so every mistake is shrouded from external viewers.

    Once out in the open we will have to adhere to the rules and regulations of the SAAS hoster. And if they are less strict then we need, it might cause some problems when failing.

    To put it simple, if you know what you need, you can find it in the cloud, and in my experience i have not seen to many companies that know what they need.

  3. Dr Who

    SME Too

    Until now, the IT pioneers have tended to be large enterprises with big budgets. Eventually, some crumbs from their table would fall to small and medium sized businesses. The typical SME still thinks it's pretty good if they've got Sage Line 50 and an email server that's not down most of the time.

    What the likes of Google, SalesForce, and the many more niche providers of multi-tenanted software are doing is turning the current situation on its head.

    SMEs start with little or nothing. Moving to web based IT services provides them with things they've never had, and could never afford to provide in house. In using such services they can often end up with something superior to that which enterprise IT teams can offer with their in house services. Small business can end up with the latest and the greatest, whilst large enterprises risk falling behind.

    In terms of line of business systems, the promise of the web was never to large enterprises. It has always been a promise to smaller businesses that they will finally have access to the kind of IT that only giants could previously afford.

    For big business it is quite possible that moving their stuff to a third party service provider would not even save any money. Much in the same way as large companies run their own fleet of company cars, it will probably be cheaper for them to keep running their own IT services, albeit moving them to new and more efficient infrastructure.

    What should scare big business is that for the first time many smaller companies are able to get access to cutting edge IT, enabling them to punch well above their weight. Up until now David has had a pea shooter. Now that he's been given a sling and some stones, he's much better equipped to go after Goliath.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Rather than re-typing it ...

  5. frank 3
    Thumb Down

    Let's move all our...

    ... accounts data into the cloud, where we don't control it.

    ... forthcoming strategy and business plan into the cloud, where we don't control it.

    ... data to a place that available to any authority that happens to ask for without even needing to present a warrant.

    On balance. No.

    cloudy docs: great for website bug sheets and copy documents. Wouldn't want to store anything important there.

  6. Pahhh

    Who can you trust?

    The problem is who can you trust? With CloudSstorage for instance, very prominent companies have kicked off services. Companies like EMC and Sun. But then they pull the service. Where does that leave you?

    Then you got the retail behmoth Amazon. No signs of their S3 service being dropped but then there are questions concerning how reliable they really are after a few high profile outages last year.

    Moving up the food chain though, lots of Cloud services are here to stay. Email (gmail, hotmail, yahoo mail) , CRM (Salesforce, SugarCRM), Webhosting (too many to quote).

    Its difficult to spot exactly what applications commerically succeed and dont on Clouds. To me at least, the pattern isnt clear.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Knocked Back

    I think the recent events surrounding Wikileaks, Amazon etc. have made a lot of people reconsider any possible move that causes them to lose control of their own data. This was always exactly my own main worry, and now it has been confirmed as fact.

  8. multipharious


    Putting together the right mix of physical, virtual, and "cloud" hosted services for a company is key. Just as making sure that the right performance architecture (or combinations of different speeds of spinning disk vs. SSD) is available to meet the user demands at peak times depending on the type of business. I totally agree with LPF...never, ever allow critical data to be controlled by another organization.

    EMC is doing their Private Cloud thing with the V-Blocks. This has been out now for over a year, but expect plenty of "me too" to come. VMware is a business like any other even if they are ~86% held by EMC, and I would guess they are already working with other vendors to put packages together. Microsoft is making a large push on their own virtualization, and I know they are talking to the vendors to put together similar programs.

    In my opinion one really cannot talk about Cloud based services without talking about the whole combination and the size of the company in general. Then start to tier things out, think about reducing power consumption to the data center, look at what type of redundancy is needed and what type of service will be provided. Looking forward to following this.

  9. JaitcH

    Amazon really knocked cloud services when it knee-capped Wikileaks

    The high-handed treatment of Wikileaks by Amazon highlighted a weakness of cloud services.

    These services are very alike to communications, they provide carriage/storage of data.

    They should be run on the principles relied upon by telephone companies and ISPs - they are bot responsible for content. Amazon's intervention was little less than political censorship. If every carrier in the InterNet had this attitude nothing would get through.

    Another matter that needs clarification is where the cloud servers are based. Geographic location is very pertinent given that the U.S. government has laws permitting it to access any computer, without warrant, on U.S. territory.

    How many organisations want THEM trawling through corporate data, not to mention the cloud operators?

  10. HighlightAll
    Gates Horns

    Primrose path

    This is a series of articles. It starts with laying out our fears it ends with??? This could be a horror story extolling the virtues of a one size fits all cloud solution. Loss of jobs, 33% higher costs (Gartner, McKinnsey) and few solutions. And where is the OGC/ISO/Usual suspects' standard for cloud security?

  11. Gordo Rex

    Your future is in the cloud

    Computing resources will become a utility. Let's look at a couple of issues:

    1) Security. Sure, you should be concerned about security. But most people have become pretty complacent about leaving the security of their money to the banks. As another example, if you collect gold bullion, you would probably leave it with people who know how to guard it, rather than keeping it in a shoe box under your bed. I was around back when people didn't want to trust their data to "bits" that they couldn't see, and preferred to keep everything in hard copy in a filing cabinet.

    2) Reliability. The question is, What happens when the link goes down? Well, what happens when the electricity goes off? Of course it happens on rare occasions (at least where I live), but it is so rare that you just shrug it off and go on with your life. Perhaps the solution is to use redundant access points. (It seems to work for the Internet.)

    This is a movement that is in its infancy. It will mature, and data storage and crunch power will become metered utilities.

  12. inlevel
    Thumb Up


    Software acquisition is a knowledge - somebody should spend time, money and effort to learn it. When he did it in the past he knows how to build server room, how to deal with big brands, how to organize IT Dept. Clouds are different: no server rooms, no boxes with software: learning again. Clouds are less painful for young people who do not remember how their fathers ordered software.

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