This article is a follow-up to a companion piece about misleading statements that are made during the sales and marketing of cloud products. We will cover the following topics:
- Review: Who Can We Believe?
- 5 Other Common Cloud Lies
- Conclusion: Peace-of-mind in the Cloud
Review: Who Can We Believe?
When we previously looked at lies told to potential customers during the cloud sales process, we mentioned that some providers have allowed the proliferation of certain misunderstandings that benefit the adoption of their technology.
Marketing material can sometimes include preposterous claims, but the most likely situation in which you will hear half-truths is one-on-one with a salesperson. Those individual interactions aren’t carefully vetted by the company and offer a shady organization an opportunity to displace responsibility.
Marketing has become more complex these days as well, though, as evidenced by the source material for this pair of pieces: a December 2nd article from ForbesBrandVoice. This portion of the Forbes website runs through the Google News feed even though it’s marketing material, in the process discrediting the Forbes brand (after all, if they are presenting advertisements as news, then who’s to say their “legitimate content” doesn’t also fall within the advertisement category?).
Nonetheless, and despite the author’s unfortunate name given the context, Afshin Shams of SungardAS offers five more fibs frequently heard on cloud sales floors:
1. Cloud morphs to suit your needs.
Although cloud is known for its ability to provide resources on-demand (so that you aren’t consistently paying for what you need during peak times and so that you can scale rapidly), every cloud has its limits. Each individual cloud is built to suit specific situations, applications, and communications. Security levels vary from one cloud to another, with private and hybrid models enhancing data protection.
In order to understand what form of cloud solution best suits your project, you want to think about your various expectations in areas such as security, performance, reliability, and input/output (I/O).
2. You can let us handle compliance.
Shams stresses that compliance with the parameters of standards and laws, such as PCI or HIPAA, is not dependent on the provider; rather, they can “support your efforts to be secure and compliant with appropriate controls, processes, and procedures.”
To drill in his point about responsibility for security, Shams presents the example of someone building your house and installing your security system for you. The builder gives you a code for access. If you allow the code to fall into the wrong hands and are burglarized, that certainly isn’t the builder’s fault. You and the provider each own responsibility for security, and – as Shams says – your customers expect due diligence from you.
3. Your scaling should be oriented straight up.
One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is the ability to scale up. You can build a robust environment within one virtual machine (VM). However, a VM needs hypervisors, placing code and equipment limits on your ability to scale only up: “A single hypervisor image can only handle so much on a given physical compute node.”
Since hypervisors hem in the capacity of a single virtual machine, you need to scale out as well. Create additional VMs so that your performance doesn’t become unreliable.
4. Disaster recovery (DR) is not a concern in the cloud.
You need to remember at all times that everything in the cloud exists within a physical environment. Although cloud is known for its strong redundancies, you are still susceptible to natural disasters and other datacenter failures. Business continuity is everything, so don’t feel that you can drop your DR plan when you virtualize.
Shams compares migration to the cloud to getting a new car with all the latest technologies and capabilities. The car may outperform your old one, but you still have to buy insurance.
5. This isn’t a lock-in. Jumping in and out is a snap.
As long as your agreement with the vendor states that you aren’t stuck with them, then you can move whenever you want. Keep in mind, though, that when you migrate from one cloud to another, you will likely need “the same amount of time, effort, money, and resources you put into the cloud migration the first time.”
Transitioning applications and processes to another setting is never going to be a breeze. You have to strategize conscientiously and methodically.
Conclusion: Peace-of-Mind in the Cloud
Obviously, everyone wants transparency in their business partners, especially vendors of technology that helps to underpin and drive the company’s mission.
We aim to exceed expectations. “Your staff was very patient and knowledgeable,” said Russell Piper of our support staff. “They helped us learn how to fish instead of just giving us fish.”
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By Kent Roberts