You’ve heard them before, the advantages of cloud computing are plentiful, but you also need to be wary of the potential risks. One way to do this is to ask the right questions:
Should you be looking at Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS)? The hardest part is knowing what each of these terms mean, then you just need to decide what specifically your company needs in the cloud:
IaaS: This covers thebasic computer needs, such as storage, firewalls, and networks.
PaaS: PaaS is typically a software stack, including operating system, programming language execution environment, database, and web server.
Should your cloud be public, community, private or hybrid? Again, there are so many acronyms in the cloud computing world that by just identifying what each means, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding the risk at hand (definitions can be found in more detail on Wikipedia):
Public: This is where the infrastructure is stored at the cloud provider’s Data Center and the access will be through Internet mode only to the general public.
Community: This is where the infrastructure is managed between several organizations from a specific community. This could be managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally.
Private: This isinfrastructure operated solely for a single organization, and can be managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally.
Hybrid: This is a combination of one or more types of cloud that are separate entities but bound together through the cloud.
What about compliance and security? With the recent advancements in cloud computing, you can sometimes depend even more on the security provided by your cloud provider than the one you have in-house. Cloud providers have dedicated staff that is highly trained in the security and compliance of your data. Your in-house employees may wear multiple hats, not always focused on keeping your data safe.