Cloud & Services

Businesses Showing Concern over Hidden Costs of the Cloud

Before you move your entire virtual infrastructure to the cloud, make sure you’ve considered all of the potential pitfalls as well as the benefits. Cloud infrastructure is at the top of IT investment plans for 2013, but a recent surveyconducted on behalf of Compuware found that nearly 80 percent of businesses are concerned about the hidden costs of cloud services.

An outage at the cloud provider is an obvious and understandable concern. An outage, however, is immediately noticeable, and most outages are quickly resolved. The broader, more subtle issue has to do with poor performance of your hosted sites and applications.  It’s harder to detect, yet still has a direct impact on the customer experience and perception of your company. It’s insidious, and could result in lost business.

The Compuware report explains, “The most common concern was poor experience due to performance bottlenecks, followed by the impact of poor performance on brand reputation and/or customer loyalty, and loss of revenue due to availability, performance, or troubleshooting cloud services.”

To be fair, physical or virtual servers you host on premise can also suffer outages, or experience performance issues. It could even be argued that it’s more likely to occur for many small and medium businesses because of a lack of IT skills and resources compared to the team of IT experts managing the cloud environment. The difference is that you eliminate a level of complexity when it comes to monitoring and troubleshooting.

Hosting your own virtual servers, applications, and data on a platform like the Dell PowerEdge VRTX gives you direct control over your IT infrastructure. A cloud provider may have greater expertise in managing and maintaining the cloud backend, but they’re responsibility typically ends at making sure the server is available in the cloud. It’s unlikely they’d be willing or able to troubleshoot performance issues in your database or applications, and having those things hosted in the cloud just makes it more difficult to access and troubleshoot yourself.

The cloud is painted as an IT cure-all—cutting costs and improving the scalability and agility to your business.  But the fact is that It’s better for some businesses than others. You need to make sure you’re aware of the pros and the cons of both on-premise and cloud-based IT infrastructures so you can choose the one that works best for you.

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