Compunetics Computer Consultants Inc.
Computer Services & Solutions
Cloud Computing - Part 1

You cannot open a tech magazine or attend a seminar without having to endure the "Cloud Hoopla"

Cloud computing is “Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand.”

This term is the buzzword de jour and every journalist and pundit is pushing it as the next great thing.  They are even claiming it is already here and it cannot be avoided.  All the major players are promoting their versions of it and are traveling around the world promoting their solutions.

The whole concept of being able to access all your information from anywhere and on any device and having it protected and backed up regularly sounds great, however, one must think about this before jumping on the bandwagon.

I also understand why all the major tech companies are pushing the Cloud.  If I was in their shoes, I would do the same thing.  The main reasons there is all this promotion are:
- They want to increase their cash flow with regular monthly revenue.
- Renting services would cut down on piracy rates
- They are all afraid of being left out of the 'next great thing'

However, like all things that sound 'too good to be true', there are some major negatives as well as better and cheaper options.

Top 10 Reasons why I don’t like Cloud computing:

1) Cost - While paying "just $16/user/month" sounds great, stop and do the math and consider the small business mentality.  My typical small business client has between 10-25 users.  They also tend to be, how shall I phrase this... frugal?
$16 / month x 10 users x 12 months, plus taxes -> almost $2,200 per year.  For 25 users, that would be over $5,400 per year.
These so called Cloud-experts obviously haven't dealt with many small business owners.  Those are today’s costs that will undoubtedly rise.  These costs are also recurring forever.  If you hate what cell phone carriers charge (hidden fees, network charges, extra minutes, admin fees, etc.) just wait until you get a cloud invoice.

2) Security - Are they serious?  Do those 'experts' ever get out of their ivory towers and visit the real world?  Microsoft and security?  Who hasn't had an issue with Hotmail?  Was there ever a month without a security fix?  How hard is it to bribe an employee to get access to the most secure systems out there?  Do you think users will start using passwords that are more complex than "abc" or "password" just because the data is stored on a cloud?  The weakest part of security can be found between most users' ears :)

Ever heard about WikiLeaks?  If hackers can take down EBay, PayPal, MasterCard etc.  Does anyone really think any cloud is safe?

3) Speed - while it sounds good in theory, what happens in reality is often very different.  Remember the old days when we submitted a fax to a secretary and had her send it for us?  We'd get a reply within a day as opposed to waiting for snail mail.  Today people expect instantaneous responses to their messages (email, instant and texts).  They go nuts and pick up the phone and complain 'my email is down!!!'.  Technology has spoiled people.  They are impatient and want immediate results (true, most of it is for their stock quotes and facebook, but that is for another blog).  I don't care what type of service your ISP offers, you are not going to beat ethernet.

4) Is Bigger really better? - hmmm, let's see...Goverment -> full of bloated overpaid bureaucrat spending our tax dollars.  Reminds me of the definition of 'Politics' - comes from the words 'poly' meaning many and 'tics' meaning blood sucking animals.  Now let's consider large non-Goverment organizations like banks, car manufacturers, investment firms?  Can you spell 'Bail-out'?  Who do you think got us into this global economic mess in the first place.

5) Target for hackers - if you combine bigger with the security of say a Microsoft, you might as well paint a bulls-eye on that Cloud.  Think about it.  What would make a better target, a small private cloud with a single company's data, or a large Microsoft Cloud?  Mix in the fact the organized crime has moved into identity theft and other technology crimes, where would you want your data stored?

... To be continued

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