There is an on-going debate on the capabilities of the cloud to handle mission-critical application, which affects the day-to-day operation of businesses or damage its long-term viability. Organizations are slowly gaining confidence in cloud technology, though questions still swirl around its fundamental security compliance issue and its ROI.
Expert across industries now agree that cloud computing is capable of supporting mission-critical applications with providers’ tracking records of reliability. Continuity and security, particularly in the face of natural disasters, is much better in the cloud. More companies realize the increased economic benefits of shifting to an affordable cloud solution for critical apps. These early adopters have recognized that the appropriateness of cloud differs by the “flavour” of the service, from Software as a Service (SaaS) to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
The leading SaaS vendors have a robust tracking system in place as they invest far more in securing their environments compared to security measures in non-cloud-computing companies’ data centers. SaaS achieves more significant economies of scale with shared applications, some key examples being Google Apps, Salesforce, and NetSuite. Firms are now overcoming the mental fear regarding cloud safety, both by comprehending the provider’s capabilities and by effective negotiation for the appropriate service-level agreements (SLA), which allows firms to reap savings associated with shifting mission-critical applications to the cloud. Individual companies build out expensive infrastructure to handle peak loads while the cloud providers offer a flexible approach of scaling resources that is more efficient and cost-effective.
Fear should not stop businesses from moving their essential or critical applications to the cloud. To evaluate cloud viability, firms need to categories their app into non-critical and critical as both have their pros and cons. Due to the increased cost and difficulty of managing a private network in the cloud with the lack of quality guarantee, critical trading apps have not chosen the cloud technology. In addition, companies are sceptical about its adoption as market data is I/O intensive requiring instantaneous bandwidth expansion. This scepticism continues, as questions regarding cloud being more expensive, with added latency diminishing the value of the data still are unresolved.
Super high availability requirements are more challenging to achieve when mission-critical apps are deployed in the cloud. The question has become more grave with Amazon’s outage, which has introduced new risk for organizations that have only limited monitoring and control. It is mandatory to build a substantial level of trust and transparency in the vendor as trading firms can’t solely verify assurances of redundant power, network, disk, backups, etc.
After recording industry experts feedback on the subject, it is clear that the industry understands that the cloud solution comes with several positives, like resource sharing, consolidated hardware footprint, etc. But, still, the industry is not entirely ready to rely on the cloud for mission-critical apps. A trade-off may be to deploy some non-critical apps to the cloud initially to try it out.
The Cloud marketplace is expanding rapidly as most vendors now have a cloud offering already hosting mission-critical applications for thousands of companies and their customers. Experts foresee that in the coming decade, organizations with hypercritical apps might prefer building private clouds to gain flexibility, more control, and better scalability.