12 things you need to know about cloud computing

12 things you need to know about cloud computing

Cloud services aren’t magic fairy dust. They let you do stuff more easily than if you were using physical hardware – but there are some pretty serious limitations out there too. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way toward making the best choices possible about your computing resources. In this blog, you’ll find 12 things you need to know about cloud computing

12 things you need to know about cloud computing

1) Do it because it works

The cloud isn’t the best choice for every business. If your business needs lots of big computers that stay on all hours, cloud rigs won’t suit you at all. The same goes if your company makes specialised hardware or does weird science projects – although cloud virtual servers can be very powerful indeed, they’re not right for every purpose under the sun.

2) Don’t use ‘cloud’ as a buzzword

You can’t just tag ‘cloud’ onto your product or service and expect to be cloud-rated. Products that cloudify stuff that doesn’t need cloudifying, don’t cloud it well enough, cloud machines you can’t use for other jobs, or just go on about cloud this cloud are all cloud negatives.

3) Ask yourself what the cloud is good at

Cloud services aren’t magic fairy dust. They let you do stuff more easily than if you were using physical hardware – but there’s some pretty serious limitations out there too. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way toward making the best choices possible about your computing resources (or lack thereof.)

4) Cloud computing isn’t cheap

You may pay for the resources you use in cloudland, not by the hour or even by the minute, but per cloud-service usage. Yes, cloud computing is a good choice when you use your cloud service a lot. But if your cloud service runs in spurts when it’s busy and idle most of the time, running cloud lark on physical hardware could actually cost less than cloud chuffin’ about with virtual servers because you’ll be using the same computer all the time instead of renting cloud computers at great expense for short periods.

5) Don’t believe cloud hype

Cloud companies always make their services sound like their free money – usually through comparisons that don’t stand up to scrutiny; like ‘you could buy six racks of servers for what it costs to run cloud cloud cloud’. Sometimes that’s just because cloud folk doesn’t know how to price cloud services correctly, but sometimes it’s just chuffing about to cloud up your mind.

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6) Be cautious about moving lots of data into the cloud

The other side effects of using cloud services are often overlooked – like the fact that clouds are really good at doing things in large chunks, not small packets. For example, uploading a few gigabytes of data to the cloud is usually OK. But if you were planning on migrating an entire petabyte to cloud computers, well – it might be time for some serious thought about whether this is really what the doctor ordered.

7) Look for ‘active’ or ‘active-active’ cloud configurations

If cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud computing is your business, you’ll need to worry about the cloud latency problem. That’s because clouds are usually single points of failure that can stop working or become overloaded easily. You could solve this by setting up lots of cloud computers so they work together in an active-active configuration – but be prepared for some serious management issues.

8) Get ready to eat your CAPS LOCK key

If you’re planning on using cloud services expect trouble. Cloud companies change their prices all the time, and even if they stick with one price model it will almost certainly not be what was promised when you signed up for service, just like telcos who offer ‘unlimited’ data plans decide they don’t mean it when you go over 500GB in a month.

9) Make cloud computing cloud by cloud for cloud

Cloud computers can be busy, and cloud machines often need cloud resources to make them work properly. If your cloud service is too slow because all the cloud computers are busy running other people’s cloud stuff, just wait around until they’ve finished doing that and then try again later. Cloud companies call this ‘bursty’ behaviour, but if things get bad enough the whole cloud thing will just stop working altogether – so don’t skimp on hardware costs when you buy cloud time.

10) The cloud doesn’t fit every workload

There’s no such thing as an application or workload that ‘clouds well’. It’s a cloud party and all cloud applications are invited, so a cloud service can run anything. But what cloud companies don’t tell you is that cloud vendors have been faking benchmark results for years because they know their clouds aren’t always the best place to do work – even if they’re dirt cheap.

11) Don’t trust SYN flood protection claims

Cloud computers get hit by more authentication attacks than physical hardware by an order of magnitude, which means cloud computing isn’t going to be cheap if you plan on using virtual private servers. And while cloud companies promise you big savings over having your own dedicated hardware, remember that cloud companies also promise security with magic fairy dust and unicorn tears – not a good mix when a third of your monthly cloud charges are spent mitigating SYN floods.

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12) Cloud increases your cloud of cloud

The cloud isn’t just for numbers – cloud services can cloud security threats, too. If you’re worried about threats like ransomware or foreign hackers stealing your data, using cloud storage to back up important files is a great cloud computing idea that can save your skin when the worst happens. Just remember to keep cloud copies in another cloud so the bad guys don’t follow you there and set up shop while they pick through your backup images with a fine-toothed cloud.

 

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