Limitations of Cloud Computing

Contributing Editor, TradeBriefs: Uma Avantsa

For those who follow trends in web hosting, cloud computing is a term that they come across often these days. There are many benefits of cloud computing irrespective of the size of the organization. The benefits include secure and affordable managed hosting, accessibility of data from anywhere at anytime, offsite backup, no need of internal IT resources, scalability and so on.
But there are some limitations as well since it is still an evolving technology. Some weaknesses of cloud computing are listed below:
Cascading effect

If there is a problem in data center, all virtual machines are affected. There might or might not be a backup of the data if an enterprise relies only on the cloud for its data management needs.

Network connection
The concept assumes that the client has reliable network connection. If there are problems of network connectivity, accessing the cloud also becomes a problem. Performance of the cloud applications also depend on the performance of network at clients’ side. Upload and download speeds are slower as compared to that of a local server.

Control of data security
In a public cloud, the client does not have the control over security of his/ her own data. The clients’ data can be susceptible to hacking or phishing attacks. Since the servers on cloud are interconnected it is easy for malware to spread.

Additional costs
Although cloud computing offers cost benefits, it has some hidden or additional costs as well. Clients are charged extra for data transfer or other services. Initial offerings are priced higher, till economies of scale work out for the service provider.

Peripherals
Peripheral devices like printers or scanners might not work with cloud. Many of them require software to be installed locally. Networked peripherals have lesser problems.

Integration
Integrating internal applications with those on cloud can be complex and in some cases not viable.

Generic
Public cloud offerings are very generic and offer multi-tenancy service which all organizations might not be comfortable with. Implementing an in-house cloud is more complex to implement and are burdensome on internal resources if the organization is not large enough.

Cloud service providers are continuously evolving solutions to overcome the above mentioned hurdles. Some enterprises are seeing clear benefits in shifting to the cloud and are adopting it unconditionally while some enterprises are moving non-critical applications to test the waters. Some others want to wait and watch how the technology evolves before deciding.

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