Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

A number of motivational factors make cloud computing adoption the best decision for most organizations. These factors form the basic benefits of using cloud.

The following are the advantages of cloud computing:

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Economical

Cloud computing offers cost-effective use of cloud applications and resources that would ideally require upfront investments, thereby reducing the expenses of the organization.

Almost unlimited storage

Cloud provides access to very large storage space based on users’ requirements.

Backup and recovery

Cloud offers backup and recovery services for the most traditional physical computing infrastructures. It is relatively much easier and safer to backup and restore important data than to store data on tertiary devices.

Automatic software integration

Cloud ensures real-time and seamless integration of its applications to the users’ environment and system. Users do not need to reinvent the wheel of such capability.

Easy access to information

The user has unprecedented and unrivalled access to data from anywhere and at any time.

Quick deployment

The cloud is ready for use once the relevant cloud functionalities and parameter settings are completed.

Other advantages

  • Users need not worry about upgrading the technology stack and software. This is done by the provider and the latest releases and services are always available.
  • Users need not worry about compatibility of the infrastructure and the development environment. The provider needs to ensure this.
  • Cloud provides flexible switching between multiple staging environments.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Technical issues

These issues occur if there is a bad internet connection or dysfunctional systems.

Prone to attack

Cloud is more potentially prone to security threats and external hack attacks as there is a large amount of sensitive information on the cloud. The fact that it is in the cloud does not mean it is safe from external interference and attacks.

Security and privacy

Cloud computing still suffers from some security and privacy challenges. The major concerns are data protection and confidentiality, disaster and data breach as well as user authentication.

Data protection is often encryption keys management. Analysis of audit trails and data access logs is a major operational procedure to be practiced by companies to ensure integrity of user authentication.

A single centralized cloud repository is at a higher risk due to natural disasters and data breaches. Availability and integrity of data is critical to manage mission critical operations relying on the data.

Companies should take measures to mitigate against the damages this potential occurrence may pose.

Lack of standards

Most documented interfaces of cloud have no associated standards which might later pose interoperability issues. This challenge is currently being pursued by the open grid forum.

Continuously evolving

Cloud is continuously evolving and so are the user requirements and the requirements for storage, interfaces and networking.

Compliance concerns

The policy and compliance concerns are significant challenges as data usage and protection laws differ from one country to another.

Service migration

User lock-in to a particular provider is a problem after service migration to the cloud. This is due to non-existence of a standardized external interface in cloud computing.