It came from the cloud! 3 terrors lurking in wait

In the Halloween season, not all scares are in good fun, but you can escape these cloud computing frights

It's that time of the year again: Ghost shows and monster movies are constantly on TV, there's plenty of candy in the office, and memos are issued on appropriate costumes for the workplace. I love Halloween.

Not much scares me this time of year -- except in the world of cloud computing. In fact, certain developments in cloud computing strike fear in my heart. Be afraid -- very afraid -- of these three things.

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1. The lack of security planning in cloud deployments. You'd think security is at the top of the list for those who deploy systems on public clouds. Sadly, I've noticed that security is typically an afterthought, very much like in internal deployments.

When dealing with public clouds, security comes down to understanding the type of data set to be stored and how that data will move in and out of the cloud. Once you have done modeling, selecting the right security technology and approaches is relatively easy. But few people do this fundamental work. As a result, in the cloud deployments that I see, there is either too much or too little security.

2. The absence of service governance for distributed cloud services. When you're managing hundreds of services, they quickly get away from you. Who's consuming the services from public clouds, and how they are being combined into working systems? Lacking a good service governance approach and technology, you'll find you're quickly crushed under the weight of managing these services.

3. The dearth of understanding of the performance issues to account for when deploying on public clouds. The design of a cloud system has a lot to do with how it will perform when in production. Although clouds are very good and fast when asked to process within the clouds, talking to other clouds or to internal enterprise systems is still problematic -- in fact, they can kill your cloud migration project. You need to model and understand the issues up front, then work through them.

Although these are all big issues, they are also very fixable. Dealing with these issues is of the learning process when moving to cloud computing. Sometimes you just have to let people touch the hot stove -- even if it is scary.

This article, "It came from the cloud! 3 terrors lurking in wait," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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