What Is The Future Of Cloud Computing? Cloudy?

Cloud Computing has been around for long and people have been using it, mainly in form of remotely stored emails that they can access from anywhere. This is the most ancient form of cloud computing. If you ask me what is cloud computing, my answer would be “a service that you can access from anywhere on the planet and anytime of the clock”. The system got a name when these service providers started offering just more than storage. Most of them are business processes internal to any business but are implemented on remote servers – in a way that you do not have to add to your existing infrastructure and that the services can be accessed from anywhere. This article takes a look the future of cloud computing in light of its current implementation procedures.

The Future Of Cloud Computing

The Future Of Cloud Computing

When the likes of Mozy started offering software as a service (SaaS), most people started understanding that they can use such services without having to pay much. For example, a 2GB pen drive would cost $8 in India while with Mozy, they get 2GB for free. If they need more space, they can purchase more storage space instead of having to buy more pen drives. This is the smallest example I can give for explaining clouds.

Are the Clouds Really Good Enough

There are many major players in the field these days. Google was already in with its cloud based processor and its cloud OS. Amazon came in with different cloud services that are now countered by Microsoft that also offers services to create test and implement software remotely.

Following the lead, Adobe is the latest entrant to cloud computing at the time of writing this. Instead of offering disks, it is now offering its software usage at monthly rentals; people need not install entire software to their local machines unless they need full functionality. The same applies to Office Web Apps. Check out the Major Cloud Players For Storage I listed earlier. There are many and they are good. But how good is the cloud technology? Is such a model feasible in a long run?

While we can say that cloud computing has and will reduce costs by significant percentage, there is much bigger a picture to it that what the eyes can see. Downtimes and maintenances are just one side of the aspects. These cannot be much big a hurdle to prevent people from using cloud computing. Then what is the major problem? Why people might shy away from cloud computing in the future?

Problems With Current Clouds

One reason is that such cloud services are increasingly being used to DDoS other websites. Amazon was down in August 2013 for many hours due to directed direct denial of service attack from a user who rented just a small portion of the same cloud for the purpose. An article at InfoWorld, says Amazon cloud is prone to hacks. Only yesterday, Adobe servers were hacked and the details of about 2.9 million customers were made public.

Thus not only the clouds serve as a base for hacking and other malicious uses – given the policies and inabilities of service providers but they can also be hacked if not secured with multiple techniques. Then again, multiple security measures may mean inconvenience to the users.

Google offers a 2-point authentication but not many of us use it, as it creates problems when we try to use the service from tiny mobile devices. Adding additional layers of security would simply mean many more steps to take just to access your account with the service providers. I was talking to a friend yesterday who said he’d prefer to keep his gold at some safe place in his home rather than some bank as his home is less prone to burglary compared to banks etc. But then that’s just him.

Summary

I am not being pessimistic but in my opinion, the future of cloud computing, given its current format, is more of a hype . Until and unless they work on addressing the security issues in cloud computing and securing their servers and allotting proper firewalls between and among the different sections of the same servers serving different companies, most of the businesses might not opt for cloud computing – leading it to delays in cloud computing.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN

4 Comments

  1. Hunky

    DDoS / Security breach, seriously, does it effect personal users in anyway for using cloud ?

    DDoS will offer certain down time or slowness but personal users would hardly notice as they time the giants like amazon or google will take to fix it would only create issue for enterprise users where uptime is money 😛

    Security breach again cant be issue for a personal users as hacker has no interest in bunch of ugly a** guys or girls in photo or your personal love letter. So this again is an issue for enterprise users.

    Security breach for user account details, well why cloud ? it can happen from anywhere, the on-line store also. So let me rule that out also.

    For me, the real issue for cloud is lack of free and fast connectivity (internet). That is the only down side which cloud can face as I would be happy to pay for online storage over buying a hard disc but what good it is if i cant access it they way I can access my local storage ?? If the connectivity is taken upto that mark, surely cloud is always the future !!!!

  2. Arun Kumar

    Lack of free connectivity to several clouds can be addressed using third party software. I am not able to recall its name but that software provides remote storage as different drives on your local disk. That can be implemented.

    As for the security issues, it depends on what you store on the cloud. In my case, all data pertaining to my business is on cloud. So I refrain from accessing that data from certain devices that I am not sure if they are safe.

    Another issue that I forgot to mention here was the governments’ interference. If a company is approached by the govt agencies for someone’s data, the cloud provider has to give it out. But in case the data was at home, they (the govt agencies) will need our permission before checking into our servers. Yes, the biggest hurdle is what I forgot to mention in the article: the government. As of now, there is no solid and consistent policy as your data can be lying in any part of the world and the laws differ across nations. That has to be made consistent before SMB and bigger companies can truly trust cloud services for *all* their needs.

  3. Hunky

    Sorry ??

    Didnt get you, cloud in local hard disk ?

    please explain

  4. Arun Kumar

    It is not stored in local disk. Unlike SkyDrive and Google Sync apps, there are third party apps that add/map your SkyDrive and Google Drive as separate drives to your Windows Explorer. Thus, you will not be syncing. Instead, you will directly be saving to the cloud via the Windows Explorer. There are many articles on how to add SkyDrive to Windows Explorer.

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