Matt HealeyTuesday,4 December 2012

The Snap:

There is always a lot of talk about the risks associated with moving IT processes into the cloud. The general premise is that once you move your IT into the cloud, you are suddenly exposing yourself to an unacceptable high level of risk associated with downtime and security breaches.

The Download:

There are IT problems that cause downtime. Eliminating that is impossible. Everything that humans have ever made required maintenance and eventually fails. Some things fail quickly some fail over time. This is simply a fact of life. But now with Cloud IT there is an expectation that there will never be unscheduled downtime and failures. There is a thought that the architectures that the cloud providers, namely Amazon and Google, are redundant enough that they will be never experience unplanned failures. But as we have seen this is not true and these sites do go down occasionally. This is to be expected.

But the larger question is, why do we expect that IT in the cloud will never have a problem and yet we do not hold the internal IT to the same standard? I suspect that it is similar to the reason that some people are afraid to fly but fearless when it comes to driving. When we are in the car, we feel like we are in control because we are driving, but in a plane we are clearly not in control. With IT, I suspect it is a similar phenomenon. The IT department feels that if the IT is located on premises, then if there is a problem the can fix it, therefore there will be less downtime, when in reality I suspect that is not true. It is the same for security.

“If the IT is on-prem, then I can control the security, if it is in the cloud I can not.”

But for a great number of companies, IT security is not their strength, so likely they are not better at it than a dedicated cloud security provider. Regardless, in order to make intelligent choices you need to evaluate the the various options rationally, and not emotionally, which is what you are doing when you demand that cloud provider never go down.

Hat Tips:

CNBC on Cloud failures, Image Credit: Flickr

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