Stop making cloud computing harder than it needs to be.


Today I’ve been reading a piece on public and private cloud computing. People are making this WAY harder than it needs to be! I’ve seen these cloud computing “issues” raised quite a bit lately, so I’m going to take a minute to address them here.

There are certainly management tools to automate the operation of most cloud computing systems out there and many of the management packages have become cross platform, meaning that they will automate not only their own cloud platform but other manufacturer’s cloud platforms as well. Even if you choose not to pay out for a commercial management product, many cloud computing platforms are ridiculously easy to program for. In the process of deploying our SwiftWater Telecom RCS cloud, we went from ground zero to almost totally automated in less than 3 months, all accomplished in house and generally painlessly.

The claim is that no current cloud provider has the automation to turn weeks of work into hours. Speaking only for ourselves, we can go from ground zero to a fully operational virtual machine in about 5 minutes of effort and 45 minutes of total time.

The next item is keeping track of and managing the virtual machines. It’s true that poor administration practices can result in what is known as virtual server sprawl. This can result in a swamp of under utilized and discarded virtual machines that can be a nightmare to manage. Fortunately, since a virtual server (IaaS or PaaS) is effectively indistinguishable from a physical server, tools for managing server inventory and administration should work exactly the same, no special cloud versions required.

This means that businesses can seamlessly manage their physical servers AND their private or public cloud powered virtual servers with the same familiar system they’re used to. What they can’t do is take full advantage of cloud computing’s capabilities to automatically reconfigure virtual machines based on need. Of course, neither can legacy physical servers. Given the difference in cost and effort between adding another virtual machine vs adding another physical machine, it’s pretty hard to call that a disqualifying issue.

The security issue with the public cloud is not who is running what on other virtual machines that share the same physical server. The security issue is the ability of the cloud provider to keep those virtual machines separated. If your neighbor runs a buggy application and crashes their virtual machine, it doesn’t impact you. Nor am I aware of any cases of virtual machine users hacking other virtual machines via the hypervisor (the heart of any cloud computing system).

The fact is, the major security risk is still just what it’s always been, inviting external attack by poor administration practices. This is exactly the same risk for physical servers as it is for private or public cloud computing.

When you look at it, cloud computing really isn’t that hard at all.

Are you looking for cloud computing, hybrid cloud, virtual server, or virtual workstation/virtual desktop services? Email me, call me, or visit the SwiftWater Telecom website today for exactly what you need!

Vern

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