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Cloud Computing – Caution!

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This week you may have heard about Adobe Creative Cloud having a 27 hour outage and the chaos it caused businesses. Everyday our lives become more dependant on cloud services, I don’t just mean our personal email, but also the companies we use and depend on.

Cloud computing is changing the landscape of business and how companies provide services, on the whole this is good for us as consumers. Services are cheaper to provide and can be quickly scaled to provide those services under peak load. For smaller businesses, the benefits are more significant with low upfront costs and low maintenance. 

So far, so good…. well until we start to look a little deeper.

Scratching the surfaces reveals concerns over where the information is stored and who could have access to it under the law enforced by the location. A lot of services are hosted out of the US and subject to local laws. We have heard a huge amount about the NSA and snooping, but legally any data can be accessed under the right circumstances, which we may not agree with in the UK.

Finally we should consider the risks of cloud computing. While the systems are up and running, all is great. When your internet connection fails or worse the cloud computing provider fails, you can’t access critical systems. In the case of Adobe, their software is dependent on being able to connect to their online services, when this failed it left users unable to access their software and unable to log in to community forums to report the issues. In many ways cloud computing does offer more reliability than other solutions, it just needs to mature more.

I believe cloud computing is becoming as important to the world as electricity, water and gas services. The huge difference is that traditional service outages are localised, so a short journey can provide you with the services again, where as cloud computing has a long way to go before it becomes as mature and dependable.

I do and will use cloud services, but only because I review the risks of an outage and accept the risks and effects, should the worse happen.

Tell me what you think on twitter @timdixon82

By Tim Dixon

Tim Dixon has worked in IT for over 20 years, specifically within the Testing Inspection and Certification industry. Tim has Cone Dystrophy, a progressive sight loss condition that impacts his central vision, colour perception and makes him sensitive to light. He likes to share his experience of life and how he navigates the abyss of uncertainty.

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