Who owns your data in the cloud? Is it really secure? These are question that people were asking even before cloud computing gained popularity. Ever so often we get gentle reminders of how very wrong cloud computing can go when a company does not deliver on its promises. Such was the case last week with Doyenz, which decided to close its UK data center.
When a cloud service provider (CSP) decides to pull the plug, will the lights go out for your business? Businesses must have some sort contingency plan in place should a service provider become unwilling or unable to continue providing service. Most importantly, that means having backups of all data and also having a backup plan for moving it to another provider.
Those in favor of an open cloud would argue that the best way to ensure you keep your business moving when your CSP bails out is to use an open cloud platform and a CSP that follows open cloud standards. If that CSP folds, you can easily transfer your data to another open CSP. This is drastically different than a cloud provider that uses a proprietary platform and locks your data into their software. You should make sure you have ultimately cloud sovereignty over your own data.
While you should definitely have a plan to mitigate a cloud outage or shutdown, you also need to take some preventative steps to minimize the chance of such a blunder occurring. That means you should do your homework. Do not choose a cloud provider simply based on price. Find out how reliable the service is from other customers and how stable the company is from financial reports and from the company’s partners.
Cloud computing does not have to end in a nightmare. With careful planning and research, you can hopefully avoid disaster and also be prepared for it if all else fails.