Be thankful for these 3 cloud advances

Cloud security, operational reliability, and big data access have made major strides in 2015, but there's more work to be done

Be thankful for these 3 cloud advances
Credit: Cindi Albright

It's that time of year again when we give thanks. We can be thankful for at least three aspects of cloud computing -- and think about a few others.

1. Be thankful there have been no major cloud data breaches

Knock on wood, right? All the major hacks -- including Sony Pictures, Home Depot, and Target -- didn't involve cloud computing.

The ability to secure the cloud depends on how much effort goes into designing the right security and using the right technology. Fortunately, we can maintain high security levels in the cloud. By contrast, traditional systems -- especially as they age -- are easier targets.

2. Be thankful that outages are less frequent

Outages still occur, but large, widespread cloud outages are no longer major news events. The cloud providers became much better at operations, which includes preventing outages.

Networks, core servers, and power systems are all redundant these days. Typically, no single component failure brings down the entire cloud service, or even large portions of it. Thus, clouds have proven to be more reliable than most traditional systems.

3. Be thankful that big data is finally affordable

Large data systems, aka big data, cost millions of dollars in hardware and software. Public clouds have significantly reduced the cost of entry into big data systems, and they have placed the power of having an almost perfect understanding of your data in the hands of companies that once could not afford it.

The use of public cloud services as data platforms will increase in use over the next few years, and data will be the killer application of the public cloud.

Even with such important progress to be thankful for, we're not out of the woods. We are still learning how to improve the use of public clouds, as well as how to find better use cases.

We still face a great deal of work and learning -- so let us get to it.