Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a boon to today’s world for everyone, but still there are some disadvantages of cloud computing, so let’s know all of those.

In Cloud Computing, the word “Cloud” is used as a metaphor for the internet and therefore the phrase “Cloud Computing” implies a type of internet based computing. In this type of computing, there are different services provided which include servers, storage, and applications that are delivered to an organisation’s computers and devices through the internet. It is an on-demand service which has obtained mass appeal in corporate data centres and it enables the data centre to operate like the internet and computing resources to be accessed and shared as virtual resources in a secure and scalable manner.

disadvantages of cloud computing

Limitations of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has although benefited many enterprises by reducing costs and allowing them to concentrate on the core business competence they are in rather than IT and cloud infrastructure issues. For all the generally well earned hype, there are still few distinct disadvantages of Cloud Computing, especially related to smaller operations, that one should consider before taking the leap.

Drawbacks of Cloud Computing

  • Downtime

This is among one of the worst disadvantages of cloud computing and no cloud provider, even the very best could claim immunity to service outages. Cloud computing systems are internet based which implies that the access to it is fully dependent on the internet connection. It should not be thought that one’s business can absorb prolonged bout of frequent outages or slowdowns. For example, in 2014 there few incidents where service providers like DropBox faced an outage for as long as two days.

The two key points to be considered in such situations are by asking two questions. Firstly, which business processes of yours can be delayed or halted if the service provider goes down? And secondly, when the internet connection is down, does your applications drop offline? The best practice for minimizing planned downtime in an SAP environment is to demand a service level agreement from your provider, guaranteeing uptimes more than 99.55% which is equivalent to 1.83 days of downtime a year or 3.6 hours of downtime a month. Below are some of the challenges of cloud computing.

  • Cloud Computing Security and privacy
Symbol cloud storage protect on white background (done in 3d)

It is essential that all the discussions related to data must address security and privacy, especially while handling or managing sensitive data. The case of Code Space should always be remembered and what happened to it after its AWS EC2 console was hacked and its data got eventually deleted and then the company was forced to close the doors forever. An important point to note is that by leveraging a remote cloud based infrastructure, a company outsources everything it has, though your cloud service provider is expected to manage and safeguard the underlying hardware infrastructure of a deployment, the remote access is your responsibility and in most of the cases no system is perfectly secured. Therefore, it becomes critical to carefully weigh all the risk scenarios.

  • The privacy of the cloud based data is a doubt after the recent leaks of celebrity pictures and countless millions of user login credentials. Thus, it becomes important to be specific about the questions regarding the trust on your service provider and will you be able to face it, which are among the riskiest disadvantages of cloud computing.

Steps to minimise security and privacy risks are as follows.

  • Know all the people who are supposed to have access to each resource and service
  • Limit data access on the basis of user extent context
  • Involve in a risk based approach for securing assets used in the cloud
  • Extend security to the devices and add intelligence to network protection
  • Build the ability to see through the cloud
  • Vulnerable to attack

Every component in cloud computing is potentially accessible from the internet and there is nothing connected to the internet which can be considered to be perfectly secured, even the best teams suffer severe attacks and security breaches. Cloud computing is built as a public service and it is considered as the saying goes it is easy to run before you learn to walk. Also no one at AWS checks your administration skills before granting you an account as it only considers a valid credit card to get started.

Steps to minimise cloud attacks to help your organisation to monitor the exposure and critical data movements are as follows.

  • Identification of threat by correlating real-time alerts with global security intelligence
  • Protect your information proactively
  • Automation of security through IT compliance controls
  • Prevention of data exfiltration
  • Integration of preventive and responsive strategies into security operations
  • Discover rogue projects with audit and authenticate identities
  • Limited control and flexibility

Cloud users have limited and varying control over the function and execution of their hosting infrastructure. Cloud provider’s end user license agreement and management policies might impose limits on the ability of customers handling their deployments. Except for the backend infrastructure, customers are limited to the control and management of their applications, data, and services. None of these are going to pose the problem to the user, but for the security purpose, these factors need to be considered.

  • Dependency of cloud computing platforms

Another disadvantage of cloud computing is the implicit dependency which is also known as vendor lock-in. Major differences between vendor systems can sometimes make it impossible to migrate from one cloud platform to another. An important thing to note is that it is not only complex and expensive to reconfigure the applications to meet the requirements of a new host, but migration can also expose your data to additional security and privacy vulnerabilities. To decrease the problems associated with dependency, it is important to properly understand what the vendors are selling and can it help in avoiding lock-in problems in the cloud. In many cases, it is observed that knowing what is going on and planning for it can make a big difference.

  • Cost of cloud computing

On a small scale and for short term projects, cloud computing can be a costly thing. Despite trying to reduce staff and hardware costs, the overall price tag could end up higher than the expectation. Before being sure of what will work best for you, it is always preferred to experiment with the variety of offerings. Also, it is possible to make use of the cost calculators which are made available by the providers like Amazon’s AWS and Google’s GCP.

Steps to reduce cloud computing cost are as follows.

  • Scale down as well as up and pre-pay, only if you have a known minimum wage
  • Stop your instances for unused services
  • Watch out for cloud sprawl
  • Set smart alerts and make the cost proxy for usage

Despite the above disadvantages of online storage, the environment has immense potential for many business models and as the platform matures and economies of scale continue to grow, costs will start to fall and reliability and security standards will improve.

Cloud Computing Disadvantages: Cloud Storage

cloud storage

Talking about the other side of this, the following are the advantages of cloud computing.

As technology is moving forward people are adapting those at such a pace that was not expected. There was a time when people use to store digital files in floppy, then came the disk, pen drive and hard disk. Now they prefer to store file online and this storing file online and sharing is the simplest form of Cloud computing. So according to Wikipedia “Cloud computing is a type of internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data  to computer  and other devices on demand”. As the whole process of cloud computing is adapted by firms as well as others in this article we would be talking about the disadvantages of cloud computing.

First thing that any business wants is how they can reduce cost so as a benefit of cloud computing it provides us with the flexible cost. It is possible because the all that it needs is server a bit of infrastructure so when demand goes up more space can be used and once demand gets normal the space can be de-provisioned. Rather than in traditional way we need to buy capacity that could be sufficient for the peak time so for the rest of the time space goes ideal thus waste of money. Before they begin they need to spend lots of money on buying lot of equipment, build, and operate data Centre, buy hardware, facilities and things that would be required to run it. All this money is spent and they not even earn a value for it for a long time.

Taking an example of cloud computing so suppose Firm X that has the option is to either reduce the size of their service Centre if they already have and they can also remove all of it. Opting either of the option will reduce the cost of servers, software purchase and staff still the firm would be working in the similar manner as it was working earlier.

After saving the money by reducing cost another reason for why cloud computing is ease in managing. As in cloud computing whole thing is managed by central server so there is no need of maintenance of main server and rest things like updates are provided by the service provider. All you need to do is, things like copying file from any pen drive only thing different is that here you will be using web interface which doesn’t even need to be installed so it won’t be using any of your space.

One question that may arise in your mind is are that software always available? So, the answer is yes so availability also adds up to the advantage of cloud computing. Cloud service provider are so reliable that their system is up 99% of time. Unless your own internet is working they are almost ready to serve you also some of their software work offline. Also, access is not restricted through your desktop or laptop it can be done through any device such as mobile phone and tablet. Location does not restrict cloud it is accessible from any location so cloud computing is mobile and these acts as benefits of cloud computing.

Cloud computing provides us with the opportunity to work with someone who is physically too far from us. As all of things can be shared there on the cloud then group of people from different location can simultaneously work on the same thing and share information with each other at real time. Similarly, this could also work in favor of two firm in case of merger and acquisition as all they need to do is share the data that is already present on the server. Traditionally they need to decommission data Centre and migrate and this whole process would take few year.

In business one thing that is most important is staying in front of competitor, so companies using cloud computing can have edge as they don’t have to worry about procurement, so no upfront cost and the firm can focus on their core business strategy and objective instead of worrying about the technology as these things are taken care by the firm that is providing cloud service.

In current business CSR and saving environment also act the important part so how does cloud computing benefits the firm here. As discussed above in the article use of cloud computing could reduce the number of data Centre also firms would be sharing their resources thus it would have less impact on the environment.

Till now in this article we have discussed the pros of cloud computing but there no such thing who is tilted on one side every positive has its negative. Similarly, in cloud computing we may have security issue as whole data is shared on same platform. By any chance if a hacker manages to hack a server thought the intention of that one is to get another information but along with that he is able to get extra things. Also, if you are using someone else’s server then you might have to provide them with important business data.

Previously in pros we have discussed that server is up 99% of time but this 1% of time down can lead to loss of millions of dollars. As you won’t be able to access any information that is stored there and all the business activities must be suspended for that time. We also discussed that in case of Merger and Acquisition firms using cloud computing must do was just share the data but in case of software there are still few of them that is fully functional on cross platform. For example, some software that is made for windows might not work on Linux or IOS.

Opting for cloud computing may also lead to loss of control or minimal control as all the things whether it’s about some software or platform all of these things are handled by the service provider. So, the firm or customer can only have a control on the service that is operated on that platform of software like the data that they store.

 Performance interference and noisy neighbors

Due to its multi-tenant nature and resource sharing, cloud computing must also deal with the “noisy neighbor” effect. This effect in essence indicates that in a shared infrastructure, the activity of a virtual machine on a neighboring core on the same physical host may lead to increased performance degradation of the VMs in the same physical host, due to issues such as e.g. cache contamination. Due to the fact that the neighboring VMs may be activated or deactivated at arbitrary… times, the result is an increased variation in the actual performance of cloud resources. This effect seems to be dependent on the nature of the applications that run inside the VMs but also other factors such as scheduling parameters and the careful selection may lead to

This effect seems to be dependent on the nature of the applications that run inside the VMs but also other factors such as scheduling parameters and the careful selection may lead to optimized assignment in order to minimize the phenomenon. This has also led to difficulties in comparing various cloud providers on cost and performance using traditional benchmarks for service and application performance, as the time period and location in which the benchmark is performed can result in widely varied results. This observation has led in turn to research efforts to make cloud computing applications intrinsically aware of changes in the infrastructure so that the application can automatically adapt to avoid failure.

Data Breaches

In the Notorious Nine report, the CSA notes, “It’s every CIO’s worst nightmare: the organization’s sensitive internal data falls into the hands of their competitors.” Cloud computing has introduced new avenues for cyber attacks and putting data at risk. Of course, there are ways to prevent data loss and strengthen data security, but it’s a double edged sword. Encryption protects data at rest, but lose the encryption key and you’ve lost the data. The cloud routinely makes copies of data to prevent its loss due to an unexpected die-off of a server. The more copies, the more exposure you have to breaches.

Data Loss

The prospect of seeing your valuable data disappear into the ether without a trace can leave you skeptical to use cloud services. The data loss can happen in a variety of ways: It can occur when the owner of encrypted data loses the key that unlocks it; A malicious hacker might delete a target’s data out of spite; or, you could lose your data to a careless cloud service provider or a disaster, such as a fire, flood or earthquake.

Account or Service Traffic Hijacking

Should a hacker gain access to your credentials, they will be able to monitor your activities and transactions, manipulate data, and redirect clients incorrectly.Your account or services instances may become a new base for the attacker. From here, they may leverage the power of your reputation to launch subsequent attacks.

Insecure Interfaces and APIs

IT administrators rely on interfaces for cloud provisioning, management, orchestration and monitoring. APIs are integral to security and availability of general cloud services. From there, organizations and third parties are known to build on these interfaces, injecting add-on services. This introduces the complexity of the new layered API; it also increases risk, as organizations may be required to relinquish their credentials to third parties in order to enable their agency.

Denial of Service

DoS has been an Internet threat for years, but it becomes more problematic in the age of cloud computing when organizations are dependent on the 24/7 availability of one or more services. DoS outages can cost service providers their customers and prove to be pricey to customers who are billed based on compute cycles and disk space consumed.

Malicious Insiders

Any number of supposed allies can gain access to a network, system or data for malicious purposes — from a current or former employee, a contractor, or a business partner who wishes to do harm to data. In an improperly designed cloud scenario, a malicious insider can wreak even greater havoc. In situations where a cloud service provider is solely responsible for security, the risk is great. Even if encryption is implemented, if the keys are not kept with the customer and are only available at data-usage time, the system is still vulnerable to malicious insider attack,

Cloud Abuse

“It might take an attacker years to crack an encryption key using his own limited hardware. But using an array of cloud servers, he might be able to crack it in minutes,” the report noted. Another example might be a malicious hacker using cloud servers to launch a DoS attack, propagate malware or share pirated software. The issue is that responsibility for use of cloud services rests with service providers. Therefore, they must be the ones to constitute what is cloud abuse and what isn’t, as well as developing best practices in preventing it.

Insufficient Due Organisations

anizations that embrace the cloud without fully understanding the cloud environment are at a substantially higher risk than those who do have an understanding.

Shared Technology

Cloud service providers share infrastructure, platforms and applications to deliver their services in a scalable way. So, one of cloud computing’s biggest assets can, in turn, become a liability. “Whether it’s the underlying components that make up this infrastructure (e.g. CPU caches, GPUs, etc.) that were not designed to offer strong isolation properties for a multi-tenant architecture (IaaS), re-deployable platforms (PaaS), or multi-customer applications (SaaS), the

So now as we have discussed all the pcons of cloud computing it’s upon you whether to go for it or not. Though pros seem to be on the higher side due to its low cost, easy management but we cannot ignore the cons such as privacy and security. The decision all matter on what is valued more and what can be most beneficial for an individual.

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