Can You Rely On The Cloud For Your Business?

Cloud computing is all the rage these days.  Every time you turn around you’re hearing something about how it’s the wave of the future and how it’s cheaper, better, faster, etc.  For some businesses, the “move to the cloud” can be a good thing, but in other cases it can be a very risky proposition.  You need to ask yourself – can your business rely on the cloud?

Recently, Amazon’s EC2 cloud server service went down for more than a day.  If you are/were an Amazon customer using this service you lost service.  In some cases you lost data and in some cases the data that was lost was NOT recoverable.  Some major players in the social media landscape (Foursquare, Reddit, Quora, Hootsuite and Moby) were completely unusable.  Additionally portions of CNET’s functionality was compromised.  CNET’s response?  “We’ll be back shortly, we hope. Sorry, it sucks for us too. We’d point fingers, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without EC2.”

In my eyes that’s the largest risk you run.  Even if you “go to the cloud” I’d STRONGLY advise you to back up all of your data locally.  This again is part of the reason that I’m such a big fan on services such as DropBox.  Even though there’s a cloud aspect to it, all files are backed up locally on your machine(s).  Luckily storage is SUPER cheap these days so if it’s a matter of backing up your sensitive data that hurdle can be overcome rather easily.  A quick search on Amazon found 1 terabyte external drives for less than $70.

Clients ask us all the time if they should be moving to the cloud.  The short answer is “it depends”.  It’s clearly not for everyone and as with any migration you should only consider it after carefully weighing all the pros and cons.  For some businesses it’s a huge cost savings and it’s definitely the way to go. For others staying out of the cloud is the superior choice.  If you’re considering taking your business to the cloud contact us for a free assessment of your systems.  We will be able to determine if cloud computing is right for you.