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Cloud Computing: The Good, The Bad, and The Many Different Clouds

June 22, 2016

Cloud ComputingCloud computing is fast becoming a must-have for many businesses. This is because of what it offers companies, and how it has proven itself so far. Whether a business is big with thousands of employees and offices worldwide, or small with a single office and few workers, the convenience and benefits of using the cloud is generally the same.

As with everything else in this world, nothing is purely good. The cloud also has both good and bad sides to it. Here are some of the pros and cons of cloud computing:

The Good

These are the reasons why businesses rely on the cloud for many of their computing and data needs.

Cost Efficient – no, this does not mean that it is cheap (although, it relatively is when compared to other options), but this does mean that you get value for your money. This is because you don’t have to shell out lots of money for maintenance and upgrades (the provider does this for their servers), and you don’t have to hire people for this same task, while still getting the kind of service you need at no added cost.

Scalable – this is one of the reasons why cloud computing is cost efficient – you can upgrade or downgrade your plan according to your needs and with this comes the corresponding cost for what you are using.

Ideal for collaboration – if you have people working elsewhere in the world, or want to travel and work at the same time, the cloud is a good choice for this. Since the cloud allows authorized users to access the data and the software they need wherever they are, telecommuting and working with workers who are far away is easy.

Disaster recovery is a given – one of the main problems of having your own servers in the same building as your business is when disaster strikes. Business continuity is what you get when you use the cloud for data storage, backup, and other computing needs. With copies of your business data in the cloud, you can rest assured that even when your local infrastructure is down, your data can still be accessed and used to keep your business going.

The Bad

Now, while the presence and use of the cloud is indeed a welcome development for many companies, this does not mean that there are no disadvantages. Here are some that many users point out as their pet peeves when it comes to cloud computing:

Security Issues – yes, cloud computing can and will come with some security scares, although most providers do give a guarantee that your data is safe with them. To avoid any problems concerning your data’s protection, make sure that you choose a provider that has all the security bells and whistles required to keep things as safe as they can possibly be.

Down Times – while these providers do have their own technicians to keep things running smoothly, sometimes problems do occur. This is when a downtime is experienced. A network outage can be a pain, but since nothing is foolproof, you simply need to find a provider that has a better track record when it comes to their maintenance and how soon they can be back up after an outage.

Different Types of Clouds

Much like in nature, clouds also come in a few different types or categories. These are IaaS, NaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, is the most common. It usually comes with a simple interface that allows people to access various services, such as access to data storage and the servers that their company uses. SaaS, or Software as a Service, is also just as popular, with such a service allowing users to access programs on the cloud rather than needing to download and install these on their computers.

The other two categories, NaaS (Network as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) are not as widely used as the previous two, but are still deemed indispensable by those who do utilize these cloud computing options. NaaS is used by companies to access VPN, bandwidth, and other on-demand services. PaaS on the other hand is used by companies that have developers who need to work on certain applications even from afar, and this is the avenue they use to give such developers access to the tools needed for such a task.


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– Ray Kubick, Northwestern Mutual

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