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GrayM
11-09-2010, 06:16 PM
Anybody use one? How do you like it?

WheatBookkeeping
06-16-2011, 12:19 PM
Here are my previously posted comments on "Cloud" computing which is analogous to "online" computing:
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Cloud based computing is clearly going to be around for awhile, it may gain widespread popularity or find a more limited role. We don’t know yet. We do know that it will be designed by, and for, large enterprises; small time users, like us, will be a mere after thought.

The benefits are indisputable at this point. It is good thing to be able to access your data from various platforms and locations 24/7, but there are other technologies that accomplish the access flexibility you need. But, cloud is more than data accessibility, it’s about scalability for fast growing companies, decreasing the runaway IT costs in large corporations, acquiring large temporary data storage on the fly, reducing software development/testing time, standardizing business practices across large organization, etc. etc. etc.

So, the question is, for us small timers, does the cloud adequately answer security issues? Who is out there that can see your data? Will your customers be comfortable with their data being exposed to hackers? I know their data is already online and susceptible to hackers but that’s on them. If you put it out there, it becomes your problem.

If the cloud business provider is down for some reason, how will your small business react? What if the cloud response time begins to slow to unacceptable levels?

You can be sure that soon there will be an unprecedented volume of legislation surrounding and interfering with cloud computing.

Cloud computing data centers are subject to be moved “off Shore”. If your data is moved “off shore”, whose laws prevail over that data? (do I need say more?)

Already universities are conducting projects on the effects of stringing clouds together, having one cloud control multiple child clouds and having clouds within clouds. Now go figure out where your data is. What if one or more of the interconnected cloud providers is subject to some kind of law suit and their servers are subpoenaed? If your data resides there, along with thousands of other innocent players, you are dead-in-the-water for at least some indeterminate period of time. They’ll, no doubt, release your data back to you after the suit is settled - how many years later.

How about if you are not allowed to move your data from one competing cloud provider to another?

What if the cloud provider company merges, or splits, or down sizes, or gets purchased by a bigger enterprise, or gets purchased by a company whose main line of business is not cloud computing, or requires a Federal bailout, or is held hostage by the unions, or suffers a stockholder revolt, or is legislated to death?

Another thing is, in the future your business may be forced into an unpredictable costs structure that you may find difficult to sustain, i.e. it becomes too expensive.

By the very nature of the way clouds will be cobbled together, the “cloud business provider” will be a large cumbersome corporation that will be unresponsive to customer complaints and technical help desk issues.

Anyway enough said for the moment. I’ve just given you a glimpse into 30 years of corporate life which I have vowed to put behind me.

Now, as a small business operator, I am staying away from pure cloud computing for a number of security and availability issues. At this time, my business is well served by simply working as a “stand alone" (securely backed up) operation with limited online exposure.

Personally I haven’t seen the many operational drawbacks to cloud computing diminishing. I believe the technical issues are, however, being addressed but a new set of complex problems are arising at the corporate boardroom level and, frankly, they muddle all the good work that has been done down in the trenches at the technical level(s).