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The disadvantages of cloud storage September



17, 2013

3 min reading

This story appears in the
August 2013

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Question: Does my company really have to send everything to heaven?

A: The cloud has changed the way we do business, archive data and computer tools and make them available everywhere that have access to the internet. But it is not perfect, and some benefits entail high costs. We asked Alen Peacock to play the devil's lawyer. He is co-founder of Space Monkey, a startup from Midvale, Utah, focused on making file storage faster and cheaper via (you guessed it) the cloud. Here he points to some possible disadvantages.

You have no control over the cloud. "If things go wrong ̵

1; and they will – you are probably not well in your hands, waiting for someone else's employees to make things work again," Peacock says. "Consider what happens if you are the 823rd largest customer of a business-critical cloud service. You are at the end of the line."

Peacock points out that almost all major cloud service providers have had outages and data losses. Amazon's cloud computing platform, EC2, has experienced at least three major disruptions in the last three years, causing some customers to permanently lose their data. Netflix, Pinterest, Airbnb and Instagram are among the companies that experienced service disruptions last year due to their dependence on the cloud.

It can be slow. "Sending data via the Internet to a remote data center is much slower than saving locally," says Peacock. "The same applies when you need your data back." Cloud services have finite amounts of bandwidth to share with all users, so the more customers they have, the slower they work.

It is expensive. In the short term, cloud services seem cost effective – instead of paying in advance to purchase your own equipment and software, you pay a low monthly fee. However, Peacock explains: "It is the long-term costs that bite you. It costs money to pay for server cooling systems, bandwidth, fire extinguishing systems, backup generators, security systems and patrols and personnel for 24/7 network activity centers. And you pay them every day, for years. "

It sucks energy. "The cloud is anything but a clean, energy-efficient technology," says Peacock. "If the data centers in the world, where those cloud-based programs & # 39; s are stored, were a country, they would be the 12th largest consumer of electricity in the world and place them between Spain and Italy."

No internet means no cloud. "Access your files from any device and keep a copy securely somewhere else," says Peacock. "But if your internet connection fails or is closed, you do that too."

Service providers can be arbitrary and fickle. Users of cloud services can become entangled in complex policies and gatekeeping problems that can cause their accounts to be suspended or closed. And, as Peacock points out, "One service you take out can cause a negative ripple effect throughout your company."


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