Cloud myth 2 – the cloud is unreliable , NGD

Cloud myth 2 – the cloud is unreliable

By David McAughtrie 16 | July | 2014

Read below our guest blog by NGD customer UNIT4 about the myths in the cloud.

Cloud computing has been the subject of more interest and comment than almost any ICT phenomena in recent years.

How the cloud works, the benefits it brings, the risks it exposes you to; each has generated prejudices and half-truths, many of them completely unfounded. In our new blog series we will debunk the most common myths, dispel the prejudices and bring the facts to light.

Myth number 2: The cloud is unreliable

“Our business software is mission critical. We can’t afford to lose it.” This remains the most common concern raised by our customers when we advise them to start up their cloud.
Institutions must of course make sure their data is adequately protected in the event of disaster. Interruption of the operation can eventually lead to more than just a loss of image but potentially put service level agreements (SLAs) at stake and impact academic and research performance. In the competitive environment which institutions now operate, a service outage affecting student, faculty, staff and administrator access to file storage, e-mail, databases, and other applications can cause serious harm.

But for all their justified caution, the risk managers see in the word “cloud” is disproportionate and tends to take little account of the data backup and the disaster safety built into datacentres. It is highly likely that the solutions being offered via the cloud are more secure than their on premise counterparts. Anyone offering services in and out of the cloud must be prepared for every eventuality, not least in the event of disaster.
Providers of business software in the cloud not only place a special emphasis on safety but also on reliability and maximum uptime. This is their core business. For floods, storms, earthquakes or terrorist attacks, cloud providers have a proven disaster recovery plan already in place. It is their responsibility to ensure availability in the event of damage and to prevent the loss of critical data.

Compare this to a data centre in an internal IT department where similar safeguards are not available. They rarely have an emergency plan, and few provide daily business critical information or check whether recovering data in case of emergency actually works. Having the physical security of servers can be desirable but server systems are often not placed in secure rooms and can be freely available to anyone.
Having an emergency plan, including fail-safe infrastructure and backup and recovery services can seriously improve the reliability and security of your data.

No one can guarantee absolute safety – and you should be wary of anyone who does, but scepticism about cloud adoption is not appropriate. The least reliable aspect of IT in terms of data security is and remains the human factor. The risk that employees lose company-related data is multiplied by the intensive use of mobile devices and is much higher than the risk posed from a disaster?
With UNIT4 you can quickly and painlessly restore crucial data and reverse potentially crippling disasters caused by user errors, even though your solution is deployed via the cloud. Backups are kept for a long time, so even if years have gone by before you notice the loss of data we can still restore it in hours, not days or weeks.

To find out more about UNIT4′s cloud model click here.