Cloud Computing: Some things to consider

Today, many people have business continuity/disaster plans, but they may not review and update them on a regular basis, which can lead to serious problems. When you first wrote your plan, did you consider that one day much of your data would/might be in the cloud? Did you plan for what you would have to do in the event your cloud vendor went out of business? If not, and you have a private or public cloud vendor (or are thinking about going to the cloud), you may want to read on.

The best time to prepare for getting data out of the cloud is before you put it in there. (Item #1)     Before you move to an online storage provider, there are some things you should know (and ask) about cloud storage and recovery. (Item #2)     When you're putting a lot of systems into the cloud, you should consider a number of things. (Item #3)    

Here are some of the pros and cons of whether you should do all your computing in the cloud. (Item #4)     This article describes some of the risks and things that might go wrong with cloud computing. (Item #5)     Although the benefits of SaaS are hard to ignore, there are risks inherent in the cloud. (Item #6)    

As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at [email protected].

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Cloud's worst-case scenario: What to do if your provider goes belly up

Customers of storage provider Nirvanix got what could be worst-case scenario news for a cloud user: The company was going out of business and they had to get data out, fast. Customers scrambled to transfer data from Nirvanix's facilities to other cloud providers or back on to their own premises. "Some folks made it, others didn't," says Kent Christensen, a consultant at Datalink, which helped a handful of clients move data out of the now-defunct cloud provider. Nirvanix wasn't the first, and it likely will not be the last cloud provider to go belly up.

2. Nine Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud

To help you determine if cloud storage is right for you, and find the right cloud storage provider, asked dozens of data management and cloud storage experts. Following are their top nine tips for storing data in the cloud and choosing a cloud storage vendor -- as well as five questions to ask providers before you sign up with them.

3. A CIO's worst nightmare: When your cloud provider goes bankrupt

Paul Golland, CIO of the north-east London borough of Waltham Forest, in early 2013 faced a crisis that I'm sure all CIOs would never wish to go through - being told that your sole cloud provider is going into administration and that you have 24 to 48 hours to get your business' data and systems out and into a new environment.

4. Should Companies Do Most of Their Computing in the Cloud? (Part 1)

The economics of cloud computing are compelling -- lower operating costs, the lack of capital expenditure, the ability to quickly scale and the ability to outsource maintenance are just some of the benefits. Computing is infrastructure, like cleaning, payroll, tax preparation and legal services. All of these are outsourced. And computing is becoming a utility, like power and water. Everyone does their power generation and water distribution "in the cloud." Why should IT be any different? (Parts 2 & 3 of this article can be accessed at the bottom of Part 1)

5. What Might Go Wrong With Cloud Hosting

While cloud hosting offers many companies and users a number of benefits that include cost savings, expandability, access to the latest technology and accessibility, there are a number of things that can go wrong when using cloud hosting.

6. What's your "Plan B" if your Software Vendor Disappears?

There are always questions of accessibility and security when dealing with SaaS providers. With something as essential as your mission-critical applications, you need to be assured that you will have access to your data and the application itself even if something were to happen to the software or the company hosting it. You need a way to make sure that you stay in control of what is yours, no matter what is happening on the provider's end.

Quote of the Week:

"The cloud empowers resource-constrained organizations to punch above their weight."

-- David Linthicum, SVP
Cloud Technology Partners

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