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Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing Essay

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With the unprecedented growth and spread of information, there is no wonder why large Information Technology companies have been investing in the “cloud”. To expand, when referring to Cloud Computing, this means to access and store information not stored with in your computer whether it be public, private, or hybrid cloud computing. In technological terms, the server you are accessing is somewhere else and therefore, the information and tools you are using are “up in the clouds” but more so stored in another server space.

However, whether you are paying for services through software, total usage, or free usage (hence the types of cloud services) Cloud Computing seems to be everywhere. Yet, it is important to recognize what is to gain by using cloud computing from big businesses to individual users and what are some risky moves when utilizing cloud storage over the Internet. Hence, the content of this paper will discuss the pros and cons of cloud computing and where cloud computing is headed in todays online society.

Discussion:

Moving forward, large companies use private cloud computing on the grounds that it is far more affordable to store and run programs in a server space designed for processing, saving and running information applications and so on. The biggest noticeable advantages in cloud computing have to be the ease of running programs with out installing any new applications (since the provider installs it for you in their cloud), and payment depends on membership, and which billing method you chose; for example, monitored payment or a flat rate (Mitchell). However, there are competing companies such as Google Apps Marketplace, Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services, Success Factors, and so on, that make cloud computing affordable on different user levels. These levels range from individual interest to larger company interests.

For example, a company may need thousands of gigabytes worth of storage while I may need a few gigabytes of storage. So when paying for space I will be able to only buy what I need. Additionally, using the cloud allows a user greater mobility since an individual with an account can access the cloud from any computing device (laptop, desktop, tablet, or phone) that has available Internet access. More importantly, it’s easier for multiple users to access the same document and not overload the system and backs up data without someone having to worry about the location. Therefore, utilizing a third-party system server, Cloud Computing perks offer cheaper, reliable storage and retrieval of information.

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Although Cloud Computing sounds like a convenient service for businesses and users to take advantage of, there are downsides for paying or using cloud servers. Instances include, system shut downs for maintenance, access of data after canceling a membership, and more importantly privacy. Yet, a simple downside would be “What if someone uploads data into the cloud server and suddenly loses Internet connection?” The answer would be lost time and an incomplete data upload, not to mention the hassle of finding Internet connection again to access the cloud’s server only to attempt to upload the same work once more.

On the other hand, looking back at the 2011 Google Docs incident, when an outage delayed user interaction for an hour starting in the UK and then reached the US (McCaney). Many organizations and people couldn’t access or exchange files via the cloud. So accidents happen, and although people lost out on time and information sharing, no files were reportedly lost. Even so, accidents including shutdown to outages, are rare natural occurrences, yet, inevitable for the current time. Not only are there outages to worry for also, according to Hamad Subani, he asserts that

“Since most of the major Cloud Computing servers are operated by companies based in the United States, data you put on your Cloud is subject to American law.”  Which is also true since authorities only need to file a subpoena to get the information, yet, once information is shared warrants are needed and such (Subani). Hence, privacy is compromised, but to an extent. If someone is engaging in illegal file transfers on a cloud server, it already violates the consumer to provider contract; therefore a person is better off keeping their illegal activities to themselves. Other than that, cloud computing is relatively safe. | Cloud Computing Simplified|

Pros| Cheap services, reliable, extra storage space, no worry about the server location| Cons| No privacy, and you must have internet access, maintenance. |

After going through the pros and cons of cloud computing, it is necessary to analyze where such services are headed in the near to distant future. According to Brian Donaghy,  “Market Research Media says the cloud market will reach $270 billion in 2012 and Gartner predicts it will be over the $148 billion mark by 2014, much greater than Forrester’s forecast of over $118 billion for the same year.”

Without a doubt, cloud computing will continue to rake in the profits since increasing needs for IT services are inflating the cloud’s development. In perspective, social networks (like YouTube or Skype) outsource their work to cloud services to help store user data. More so, it seems as if digital life is linked to the storage systems of cloud servers.

Think about it, with out a back up storage in the cloud, there wouldn’t be a free YouTube, Tumbler, and blogging would essentially be news posts by big businesses. Cloud computing will continue to advance in ways that further accommodates all online users. About the only disadvantage of this are those with out Internet connection, the people left out of the Internet community. However, for the time being, cloud computing’s growth in the United States and American websites using cloud resources, prove to be helpful in the spreading of information from social to private perspectives of data usage.

Conclusion:

Hence, it is evident that cloud computing will be growing exponentially so long as the Information Technology sector continues to be in high demand. Therefore it is up to the consumers individual needs to decide if cloud computing would help them keep tabs with their data usage online or if using their own memory on their computer is a better decision. On the other end, companies should use Cloud Computing servers as a cheaper form of Information Technology management. Especially since investing in a mainframe computer would be far more costly than having some other company do all the work for you for a smaller fee. Therefore, cloud computing will definitely be a primary factor in the growth and facilitation of online data usage and continue to revolutionize modern technology.

Bibliography
Bauer, Eric and Randee Adams. The Reliability and Availability of Cloud Computing. Hoboken: Wiley, 2012. Donaghy, Brian. Where is Cloud Computing Headed in 2013? 8 November 2012. 1 February 2013 <http://www.wired.com/insights/2012/11/where-is-cloud-computing-headed-in-2013/>. McCaney, Kevin. Google, Microsoft cloud crashes: Is this the new normal? 12 September 2011. 15 February 2013 <http://gcn.com/articles/2011/09/12/google-microsoft-cloud-outages.aspx>. Mitchell, Bradley. What is Cloud Computing. 2013. 15 February 2013 <http://compnetworking.about.com/od/internetaccessbestuses/f/cloud-computing.htm>. Mururgesan, San. “Cloud Computing: The New Normal?” January 2013. IEEE Xplore (digital library). 1 February 2013. Subani, Hamad. Ten Reasons Why Cloud Computing is a Bad Idea. 2 June 2009. 14 February 2013 <http://www.techtangerine.com/2009/06/02/ten-reasons-why-cloud-computing-is-a-bad-idea/>. Weinman, Joe. “Cloudonomics: the business value of cloud computing.” 4 September 2012. WorldCat (database engine). 1 February 2013.

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