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BLOG: Six misconceptions in IaaS computing

John Landau | May 28, 2012
Many of the perceived problems in cloud adoption have been caused by misconceptions.

John Landau
John Landau

Companies have progressed beyond the initial euphoria about cloud into experimenting with some form of cloud in their IT portfolio. This has been accompanied by concerns about potential teething troubles that have been reported in the media about this powerful transformation for IT. Many of the perceived problems have been caused by misconceptions about cloud computing. Here are six of the most common myths about infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing:

Myth #1: Cloud is too complex
The biggest misconception about cloud computing is to think there is magic to it. There isn't; it's just a great industrial approach to computing. With a public infrastructure-as-a-service cloud offering, such as Tata Communications' Instacompute, customers have the same secure, industrial-grade platform, whether they are large companies or a three-man company. They can get on-demand solid robust servers, storage, and networking. Public cloud companies have more agility to put up and scale up services that are available as and when they need them, working on what really differentiates their business. A public cloud IaaS is a standard, off-the-shelf computing platform. Because it is standard, it limits the options at the compute infrastructure level, but it really takes off a lot of extra bother.

Myth #2: We're all on the same page about what the cloud can do
To ensure success, make sure everyone has the right expectations about the type of cloud computing being considered, whether it is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS). It is important to understand the capabilities and the limitations of the specific cloud computing service you might buy. Do a trial first, in order to help ensure everyone understands how to use the cloud and what it actually is. Companies need to be clear about which capabilities are included, and which are excluded. Look for a cloud provider with a free trial so a realistic evaluation of the available services and offering can be easily accomplished. For any IaaS cloud computing, it is the application integrator and operator's responsibility to know the architectural advantages and limitations of the specific server-storage-network-security platform you will use.

Myth #3: Cloud providers are obliged to help when I encounter problems
Yes and no. Providers for different types of cloud services provide different types of support. An IaaS which offers server, network, storage, and security services would include help on how to use these infrastructure services as a platform, but the IaaS offer would not include services to integrate and operate a particular application. Not all providers are equal, either.


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