Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
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Probably, there is no such person who hasn’t heard about Cloud. It is everywhere. Starting from small businesses to large enterprises everyone is moving to Cloud to boost their productivity and enjoy almost limitless capacities it can provide. On the other hand, Cloud remains a mystery for people.
There is no doubt that people should learn Cloud computing in detail to know all the peculiarities of the structure and its management. In this article, we will cover the basic terms and features for a better understanding of the subject.
Basic Overview of Cloud services
When it comes to understanding pros and cons of cloud computing, it’s worth mentioning its structure.
There are 3 types of Cloud:
- Private Cloud сovers the internal needs of an organization in a secure environment. It provides the environment protected by custom firewalls and other security measures for resources that should not be available on the internet.
- Public Cloud, on the contrary, serves to deliver the services to the public audience. One of the examples of Public Cloud is Google Drive.
- Hybrid Cloud, as it might have been guessed from its name, combines these approaches. Thus, users can enjoy the power of Public Cloud keeping the internal information on the Private one.
The main difference between them is whether the user company handles the infrastructure internally or delegates it to a third-party. Here we refer to solutions where a vendor company manages it as a part of the service package. It leads us to the conception of different cloud models.
Picture 1. There are different cloud models
Iaas vs Paas vs Saas
They include IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service), Paas (Platform-as-a-service), and SaaS (Software-as-a-service). These models can be used together as well as separately and involve the system management facilitation compared to a traditional one. To cut it short,
- IaaS, sometimes also known as Hardware as a service, entails the interaction of physical resources and virtualization. It helps to allocate the physical resources between Virtual machines. Also, IaaS enables scalability without the necessity of keeping control over the hypervisors or containers.
- PaaS enables using the platform combining an Operation system with the environment for executing scripts. Hence, you receive an ecosystem that supports various programming languages. It also includes database management and web-server. As an example of PaaS, we can name Force.com for developing applications for Salesforce CRM.
- SaaS is probably the most widely spread usage of Cloud technologies. It enables providing various software as a subscription, like Netflix for video streaming or Photoshop. This model is the easiest when it comes to the management of the system components. When using SaaS your cloud provider takes care of the server-side configurations in the majority cases.
Picture 2. Iaas vs Paas vs Saas
But the question of whether it’s worth migrating your business to the Сloud remains open.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
Let’s have a brief overview of pros and cons of cloud computing compared to the traditional provisioning.
Pros of Cloud Computing
It’s considered to be the main advantage of the Cloud ensured by IaaS. If your business is on the Cloud, you can rest assured that you won’t experience downtime during running some promo or an unusual activity spike of your website or web-application visits. You can consume the exact amount of RAM, CPU, and other physical resources you need at a specific moment of time and pay only for these resources.
In addition, there is no need to worry about the lack of free space on the disk for your data, as the disk capacities are almost limitless. Thus, you can take as much as you need without waiting for the upgrade if you use traditional hosting services.
Hardware and Software Investments Optimization
In Cloud, you can save a significant amount of project budget as most corporate software currently use the SaaS strategy. They offer Enterprise plans for team usage so you don’t need to pay for individual licenses for all your employees.
While it may not always be convenient for personal use, it will be much cheaper for a company. In addition, there is no need for local server purchases and hiring IT management personnel to assist the end customers. When it comes to the infrastructure and software maintenance, Cloud vendors usually offer it as a part of the service package.
Easy Data Recovery and Backup Management
In the cloud, the data storage does not depend on hard disk drives performance so its failures will not affect the storage. In addition, Cloud providers take care of regular backups as a part of managed services.
It’s much more convenient in terms of the restoration process compared to traditional physical machines that cause the service downtime or service interruptions when your content is being restored.
Picture 3. Hard disk failures don’t affect the cloud storage
Cons of Cloud Computing
Like with any technology, there are some restrictions that make people carefully plan their cloud migration and sometimes refuse to do so.
While you spend less on server maintenance, infrastructure and enjoy limitless capacities, there is one nuance. You cannot plan your budget correctly as with traditional bare metal servers where you always pay for the available resources.
With Cloud, you pay for the actual ones and sometimes the end bills may really disappoint you. Not everyone will be ready to pay considerably more than you did before hosting your applications on a bare metal server.
Lack of Control
Some Cloud vendors offer totally inflexible contracts that may include some features you don’t need but still pay for them. They also limit access to all the system components thus you have fewer control options. This can make the migration to another provider inconvenient and longer than when you run the physical server on your own.
Apart from that, less control leads to a lack of insights into the backend processes that may influence the deployment. In its turn, it creates the risk of unplanned data exposures that lead us to the next disadvantage.
Along with the benefit of centralized data storage and no need to spend time comes the risk of data leakage. If you don’t manage the infrastructure and don’t have an option to control the security protocols inside the system.
It’s dangerous if you deal with some really sensitive information related to financial management or medical data. As you trust these data to a third-party provider who manages your cloud and you cannot track the access, sometimes you may not even know that a security breach happened.
Possible Downtime Risk
One more disadvantage that is often mentioned in the reviews is the downtime risks since Cloud services are fully dependent on the internet connectivity of your vendor. It means that if something is not working as expected, your business will suffer.
However, in fact, the Cloud ecosystems experience outages less frequently than traditional server providers. It contributes to a lower number of critical incidents and the downtimes are shorter, as a result. So, depending on your vendor downtime risk can belong to both pros and cons of cloud computing.
The State of Cloud Market
With the current trends and global situation in the world caused by COVID-19 and the necessity of economic development, the demand for cloud increases. It’s not a coincidence. The majority of business niches that were not online are striving to launch their online presence. Those who were already engaged in activities on the web will also need to grow their capacities to keep high competitiveness and the Cloud will be a perfect option for doing so regardless of pros and cons of cloud computing.
According to recent research, the market share of public Cloud services is increasing during the last few years. It went from $75.5 billion in 2017 to $211.5 billion in 2019. Analysts project the Cloud market to grow 14.6% annually until 2027.
Regardless of the stiff competition between the significant cloud market players, there are some clear winners. As per the analysis of 2019, Amazon supports 33% of the Worldwide share of Cloud users. Then goes Microsoft with 18%, while other leaders including Google, IBM, and smaller companies as Rackspace also build their capacities attracting new audiences.
Picture 4. Cloud infrastructure spending and annual growth according to Canalys
Sure, there are some pros and cons of cloud computing. Analyzing them would determine whether it’s worth implementing it for your business or not. For instance, if you are not sure if your venture will attract many or you want to test a hypothesis of trying a new business strategy, it may not be a good idea to invest in Cloud right away.
No doubts, that with time the industry leaders will manage to minimize the cons. There is an ongoing process of reducing costs and improving the service on the Cloud market. Still, there is no correct answer to the question of whether you need to implement it right now for your business, but it continues to сonquer the market.
Stewart Dunlop looks after content marketing at Udemy and has a passion for writing articles that users will want to read. In his free time, he likes to play football and read Stephen King.
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