We've all heard it before, "The Cloud" is the future. "The Cloud" will save you money, protect your data, solve all your problems and will even do your laundry. "The Cloud" can do wonderful things for your application, your websites and your business. But this isn't always the case, not everyone fits into "The Cloud" and it isn't as simple as flipping a switch. Sometimes, cloud services don't make financial or business sense. We frequently run into companies that would move to cloud IT services but it doesn't make sense for them, here's some things to check for before you make the switch.
It can cost more
In theory, using cloud services should cost less. After all, you typically only pay for the resources you actually use. However this rate can be higher than if you were to just purchase and manage hardware yourself. If you have substantial CPU or storage needs often times the monthly cost is quite high. Cloud services work best when your systems and applications were designed to run on cloud services, and legacy systems often times use far more CPU or memory than you would expect. Sometimes applications actually run 24/7 even though they only "do work" for a few minutes each day, they are not optimized for cloud platforms.
Its not more secure
Just because your data is now hosted by a cloud provider doesn't mean that it is any more secure than if it were in a local colocation facility. It is still up to you to manage and protect your data. Due to the distributed nature of cloud environments where your virtual instances are running means that some traditional security methods don't apply and you need to learn to do things differently.
No service level agreement
Most cloud companies don't offer any sort of SLA with any "bite" to it. I mean that if there is an outage or a problem they only offer a partial credit for the downtime. So if you are down for an entire day, they may only offer 1/30th off your monthly bill! That sort of service level agreement is worthless in my opinion! Some smaller cloud providers don't have high-availability environments, meaning that your virtual instances can be offline for a very long time if there is an emergency or outage.
You need to migrate your data
Although many cloud service providers claim to offer "one size fits all" solutions, the reality is that they do not. You still have to migrate your data and applications yourself. Legacy systems must be understood and documented fully to ensure they work properly after migration. It is still up to you to make sure your services work, cloud companies have a habit of handing things off before they are really ready based on my past experiences. Not to mention that if you don't have a fast and reliable internet connection in your office you will frequently have issues accessing that data.
Some businesses have regulatory requirements that prevent them from putting data on a cloud provider or prevent them from running outside of the country. If you have government requirements or "special" data you need to check first!
For more information
For more information about moving to cloud environments and to see how RDAIT can help you to make the switch (or not), fill out the contact form to the right or give us a call today!