4 cloud realities to be thankful for

The move to the cloud seems to be going smoother than many expected

The rapid growth of cloud computing continues. As we implement systems, migrate applications, and move infrastructure to the cloud, proceedings seem to be going better than most people expected.

I’m certainly thankful for that, but I'm particularly grateful for four developments this year.

First, I’m thankful that, for the most part, public cloud-based systems have done a good job of keeping outages to a minimum and avoiding data breaches. Despite the Microsoft Azure outage last week and a few other minor outages, public cloud providers have done a much better job at staying up and running than IT does with most internal enterprise systems.

Many commentators predicted widespread panic when massive cloud outages occurred. It hasn’t happened yet. However, according to most analysts, only 1 percent of our workloads are now in the cloud — so the effects of outages are still small.

Second, I’m thankful that large data breaches have not occurred at public cloud providers — knock on wood. Data breaches, such as recent issues within Target, Home Depot, and even the U.S. Postal Service, did not have a cloud anywhere near them; rather, traditional systems and traditional approaches to security caused the problems.

Cloud security, although not perfect, has not disappointed us so far. However, you have the specter of the NSA scandal and fear that data in the cloud is data the government will cull through.

Third, I’m thankful for Amazon Web Services, a company that set the standard and made many other public cloud providers step up their game. AWS has led the public IaaS market, and I suspect other public cloud providers would not have spent as much money on their clouds if AWS had not set the pace for them to follow. AWS’s success has led to followers who emulate it, and that in turn has led to a market that provides much better cloud technology as a whole.

Fourth, I’m thankful that private clouds do not have as many deployments as originally predicted. In using private clouds, you must still maintain your own hardware and software. Although it’s a good solution in some very specific cases, a private cloud does not provide the value that public cloud provides. Perhaps having figured that out, most enterprises now bypass private clouds to move to public cloud or at least to implement hybrid clouds.

What are you thankful for?

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