Today I’ve been reading the dangers of irrational economics in cloud computing. Certainly this is worse with cloud computing but I think it applies to data center services as a whole also.
Lately it seems like everyone has jumped on the hype bandwagon about cloud computing “security dangers”. These “security dangers” range from the true (a data center employee could break into your data) to the possible but unlikely (someone could break out of a virtual server and break into anything running on the machine) to the ridiculous (sharing the back end storage facility means anyone can read your data!). In some corners, this is shrill enough that all I can picture is the guy on the corner in a robe, long hair, and beard, with a sign that says “Repent! The end of the world is near!”.
I’ve addressed the merits of these “dangers” in previous posts, so I won’t go into that here. The interesting part of this is that potential customers appear to be applying a much higher standard to cloud computing than they do to their own in house data center facilities.
How many small to medium businesses have their systems secured to prevent unauthorized data access by employees? How many SMBs have a physically secure, purpose built, facility for their servers? How many SMBs are actually following system administration best practices? How many SMBs still have someone carting backup tapes home with them every night? How many SMBs are actually keeping their software up to date? For that matter, how many enterprise class businesses are doing the same things?
Granted, there can be security risks with cloud computing (mostly from bad system admin practices) and there may be any number of things not discovered yet, but cloud computing is far better in these respects that what most companies are doing in house (not to mention more reliable and far less expensive). The logic simply doesn’t add up.
This phenomenon appears to mirror one in data center outsourcing called “server hugging”. If the customer can’t walk to their closet and lay a hand on the physical server, the feelings of insecurity set in and this keeps them from co-locating servers when it would be far better to do so. I call this version data hugging.
I know it’s hard, but it’s time to ratchet down the paranoia a few steps, grit your teeth, and do what makes the most real sense for your business.
Email or call me or visit the SwiftWater Telecom web site for cloud computing services.