4 Common Myths About the Cloud

October 13, 2020
Change is scary. But it doesn't have to be.

 

By: Alejandro Chabán, DevOps Engineer 

A number of common misconceptions have created unnecessary anxiety and skepticism about moving to the cloud. Here I debunk the four most common misconceptions about Cloud Services.

#1. The Cloud Not Secure

There is a cloud security framework called the Shared Responsibility Model which states that you are responsible for your application, and the vendor (such as Amazon Web Services) is responsible for  physical security, i.e.access to the hardware or physical loss of information. 

If your application is insecure, it is even worse to be on a physical server. Cloud services offer monitors that can show you performance metrics and assessments and provide recommendations on how to improve your security (most of this free of charge). As another plus, an attack wouldn’t go easily unnoticed since there are controls over connections to the cloud provider. So, if you are unsure about security, it’s actually better to be in the cloud.

#2. The Cloud is Only for Big Business Because it is so Expensive

Vendors such as AWS offer a free tier, which means you can use all their resources for free (with some limitations). I have personally hosted entire infrastructures for local small businesses using the free tier. Others such as Microsoft Azure offer credits and have a sponsorship program for startups, which basically means they will give you a lot of credit to spend over a period of time (1-2 years). In any case, this sounds way better than spending 2k or 3k dollars (at least) on a server that you know for sure will need replacement at some point in the future. In addition, you eliminate the upfront costs of physical infrastructure.

#3. The Cloud Reduces Productivity

The “services” that live in the Cloud could be anything from your clients’ databases, to the server with your application, to video backups of your security cameras. In any case, they are available 24x7x365 no matter what. If you want to stay at home for months and can’t go to the office (for some strange reason, say a global pandemic for example) you can still access your information from any place in the world.

As a plus, you can scale your services. To put this simply, think of the times when you run out of space in your computer, or your smart tv gets old and needs more memory to run. In the Cloud you don’t need to stop or limit your operations, you are a couple of clicks away from doing that change without data loss or service interruption. 

#4. The Cloud is Unreliable. I Want to “See” the Server

While it’s nice to be able to “see” the hardware, that also means that you can lose it; it could stop working or malfunction. It could be damaged in a flood or earthquake Plus, all hardware has an associated maintenance cost.

Being in the cloud doesn’t mean your information would be public. Think of security as a series of layers. The top layer defines what the underlying stages can or cannot do. If you or your company owns the top layer, you get to control what is public and what is not.

To sum up, “being in the cloud” overcomes many of the limitations that physical hardware has. Even though it can have a couple of downsides, the strengths of the cloud are flexibility, security, scalability, and cost savings

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