You Cannot Control the Clouds

When people refer to “the cloud” in IT these days, they usually gesture to the air, with the implied meaning that whatever is in the cloud isn’t nearby or on their computers. The gesture is accurate as typically some other third party provider has your files “out there, on the Internet” when you are using the cloud to store your files.

Whole companies are moving their files to the cloud, and they love it mainly because of the cost savings and the lack of management effort that is required with responsibility of ownership and control. However, there can be some deep impacts on business eventually when moving to the cloud. For this reason, some people are creating their own cloud, as discussed in this article:

It was a typical day in the cloud. I was at my desk, streaming music onto my phone, collaborating with colleagues on synced files hosted online; I then killed a little time by horsing around on a discussion board with some friends.
The difference was, this cloud was not part of Google or Dropbox. It was ...mine, hosted out of an old computer parked under my kitchen table. It streams, syncs files across computers, and does basic social networking. I can access it online from any computer or my mobile phone.

Arun Sundararajan, It is Time for You to Take the Cloud Back From Corporations, WiredOpinion

Why own your own cloud and be responsible for the control and management? Why have the freedom of could access to all your devices even though you own it? What is the problem with the cloud, anyway? Well, for instance:

  • It is dependent on connectivity. This means you must have a connection to the internet to be in the cloud. Internet connectivity is generally reliable these days, and is taken for granted. However, we have had clients suffer downtime on either their office connectivity, or connectivity of the third-party service that their cloud is located in. Yes, Google has problems from time to time!
  • Your files are available to the third party cloud service. This means that whatever service you are using has your information and data. Governmental entities are likely taking a peek, and it is possible the providers themselves are looking also, mainly for advertising purposes.
  • It is not guaranteed to be safe. Nearly all the major cloud storage services refuse to guarantee the safety of any of your data uploaded to their servers. In fact, I have never heard of one that does; without loopholes. This means Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Box… none of them guarantee the safety of your data.


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