Why keeping your data on-premise makes more sense?

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By Vaidyanathan Venkataraman

The confusion continues, and rightly so. Major technology vendors, have been putting all their efforts to reiterate and over emphasize the pros and cons of storing data and what’s the best way to do it – On or Off premise.

For the last 5 years, the industry has, in my opinion never been at a worse state to set a industry benchmark for this subject and customers are equally to blame for hanging one foot onto the cloud highway, which is again, why this technology still gets print runs but not the desired revenue into the coffers.

So, what do we do. To quote Theodore Roosevelt.

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

Why does it make sense to keep your data on-premise?

1. Regulations: Government regulations determine how you use and store sensitive data. The healthcare and financial services industries are common examples of verticals in which IT has to take extra steps to prove to the government that sensitive data is secure. And, in some cases, that means keeping sensitive data stored in private data centers. Do you really want to take the risk?

2. Security: Certain companies are dealing with data that requires more advanced security than what cloud providers can offer. In a May 2015 study, based on information from 350 companies, IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that the average total cost of a data breach increased to $3.79 million from $3.52 million last year

A FBI Director in an interview put it this way: “There are two kinds of big companies in the United States. There are those who’ve been hacked by the Chinese, and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked by the Chinese.” And Chinese hackers are not the only hackers in the world. Do you trust all of your information and biggest trade secrets out there in cyberspace?

3. Visibility: Do you really know where your data is? That’s one question that continues to haunt adopters of public clouds. The fact is, once sensitive data is moved or generated on a public cloud, it becomes very difficult to see exactly where the data resides.

4. Accessibility: In a perfect world, all users in all locations around the globe will have high bandwidth and unfettered access into any of the various public cloud providers with which you choose to partner.

Are we in this perfect world yet?? Access to cloud resources can become a problem due to bandwidth constraints at the last mile. Accessibility using private WAN connections to private data centers can be more reliable and consistent compared to using public cloud offerings and relying on the Internet as your primary access method.

5. Latency: Latency within private data centers and across private WAN connections is easily controllable. When you are leveraging the Internet to access cloud resources, latency can become a major problem. If access to your data requires low and predictable latency times, it’s usually much easier to manage and distribute this type of data when you control the network end-to-end.

6. Lack of trust: Trust in a cloud provider is difficult to quantify. When you’re considering the idea of housing sensitive data inside a public cloud, you should assume that, at some point, you will lose faith that your provider is keeping your data secure to the degree you have deemed appropriate.

7. Service: Cloud providers don’t have the time or bandwidth to work on customizing the service for each of their clients. It is difficult for cloud providers to understand certain customer specific requirements – services will be standardized.

There’s no right or wrong answer when choosing to maintain data and applications off or on premise. Important to decide which data and apps are low impact and relatively easy to transition to the cloud. Mission critical, data and apps best kept on premises. Be aware of what cloud computing vendors are telling customers as “Advantages of cloud”.

Some of the advantages of cloud include: reduction in hardware, software and internal IT needs, low cost of entry, savings of not paying a large up front capital expenditure, speed of setup and implementation and flexibility to scale (up and down).

Remember the hidden costs of cloud computing
Cloud administrators sometimes don’t communicate with each other, nor do they perform regular system audits. Cloud providers love it when you forget, since the server costs them nothing to spin up idle VMs while they collect big bucks from you over the course of weeks, months, and even years as these purposeless servers are left standing.

Also, look at storage choices – and how much are you paying for this. Look at what comes with free. For examples, if thresh holds are exceeded, what are the charges? Some are free to enter, and require payments to leave.

Happy computing to You!
– The author is Vaidyanathan Venkataraman , a marketing professional and views expressed here are of his own

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