3 cloud computing mistakes you can avoid today

In their cloud adoption, many enterprises are not considering obvious issues that could substantially hurt them

Companies and individuals implementing cloud computing these days are doing some things correctly and many other things incorrectly. Here are the top three mistakes I'm seeing and how you can avoid them.

1. Not considering a public cloud
You love cloud computing and you love your server farm. Thus, you're moving directly to private clouds and not considering public clouds. While private clouds are great solutions in many instances, not considering public clouds as an architectural option could mean you're missing opportunities to leverage on-demand and inexpensive capacity.

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The fact is public clouds provide elastic scaling -- and can do so on a pay-per-server-instances basis. Thus, if there is processing that occurs a few days a month or on a seasonal schedule (holiday shopping), the use of a public cloud, if only to provide additional capacity at certain times, can be a good fit.

2. Security and governance as afterthoughts
Although you should consider both security and governance to be systemic to the architecture, many organizations look at security and governance only after deploying their cloud computing solution, whether private, public, or hybrid. The problem is that you just can't layer security and governance on top of your clouds; they must be accounted for in the architecture and planning from Day 1.

3. No continuation of business strategy
While many clouds provide good resiliency and even hot standby sites, it's your responsibility to plan the continuation of service around your systems, on-premise or in clouds -- it is not your cloud computing providers' job to do so. Thus, you need to think about what would happen if your provider went down, shut down, or shut you down.

There've been a few major outages in 2009, and I suspect we'll see many more in 2010. What would happen if the outage affected you for days or weeks, instead of hours? How would you continue your business? You need a plan to address this, including storing current versions of your data on premise and backup systems that can keep the business rolling.

Beyond outages, you need to consider what you'll do if your cloud providers go away or shut down the business without warning. Also, what would you do if you're locked out, due to billing mistakes or if the provider considers your use of its cloud to be in violation of some policy?

Pretty obvious stuff, if you ask me. Clearly, these are mistakes you can avoid.

This article, "3 cloud computing mistakes you can avoid today," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.