Undoubtedly over the past few years you have been inundated with cloud this and cloud that. Worse, it seems everyone has a different definition of Cloud. Well the “Cloud” is not as mysterious as one might think, in fact it is primarily three things. All you need to know about Cloud: It’s built to stay up and running (redundant), it can scale up or down based on use (elastic), and it can be accessed via the Internet. That’s it! Everything else is just marketing. Below are some of our favorite marketing spins and misconceptions.
- “Our Internet service connects you to the Cloud.” We hear a number of Internet providers now selling their connection as “Access to the Cloud”. Although technically it could be true in a roundabout way, it’s just plain slimy. This is the sales and marketing teams jumping on the Cloud bandwagon. It can be likened to selling a flight to Paris as access to the Eiffel Tower. Yeah, you’ll get me to Paris, but I still have to find it, get there, wait in a huge line, and buy a pass; none of which you’ll help me with.
- “Software as as Service (SaaS) is the same as Cloud.” This one is just a bold faced lie. So let’s clear this up. SaaS is a distinction based primarily on the pricing model of an online application. Simply, you can subscribe for a monthly or annual fee, and upgrades and maintenance are included. SaaS applications can be Cloud-based, but by definition they have nothing to do with the Cloud. If someone is selling you this, be wary.
- “We run on the Cloud, so we are a Cloud Application.” Unfortunately again, not true. Although this one is a little harder to bust. Here is the truth, A Cloud Application is an application that was built to take advantage of the two main traits of Cloud, redundancy and elasticity (scale resources up or down as needed). Just because an application runs via a Cloud provider, it DOES NOT mean they are redundant or scalable; therefore, not really a Cloud Application. So if someone tells you they have a Cloud Application, make sure to verify it was built to be redundant and scale as needed.
- “The Cloud is insecure.” Again, when we go back to our definition of Cloud (redundant, elastic, access via the Internet), you can see this statement has nothing to do with Cloud. This is really aimed at certain Cloud providers. If a Cloud provider is not secure, you may have issues. Though realistically the majority of Cloud providers spend way more on security than the vast majority of companies. But if you do hear about issues dealing with security, find out who the Cloud provider is and make a note of it. There are very secure Cloud providers all over the place, just because one or two have had an issue, it doesn’t mean the Cloud is insecure.
- “In the Cloud you have no idea where your data is.” So this one is a half-truth, but it still made the list because it’s still a big source of confusion. Here is the reason, there are multiple types of Cloud providers. To generalize, there are public Cloud providers and private Cloud providers. The data location issue stems from the public Cloud side of the fence. In a lot of public Clouds, your data could be on any number of machines, anywhere in the world. On the other hand, private Cloud providers build a customized Cloud environment your your business, which is either hosted internally, or in data centers. This allows you to control where your data resides. Most private Cloud providers have the ability to store your data locally, regionally, internationally, or pretty much wherever you want. So if your data is a concern, Cloud does not have to be scary, just focus on the private side.
The Cloud has helped to drive tremendous growth in technology, but only by providing a stable, flexible platform for amazing applications. The Cloud is not magic, it is just consistent. The applications that people build for the Cloud are where the real magic is! I hope this helps to debunk some of the more common Cloud myths.