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  • #987671
    Tim B
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    Last week, Kevin from Ark 8 Architects posted a link to The Age and a particular article about Cloud computing pitfalls. “My $20,00 Mistake” in the Age generated a good number of responses and helpful discussion.

    Some of the comments were cool & calm – some fairly passionate. But anyone who has tried yelling at, hitting, begging, threatening or staring-down a computer to get it to “work” knows that computers (indeed systems in general) are immune to passion or charm. Human beliefs and feelings simply do not compute and I raise a Spock-like eyebrow whenever these words enter a systems conversation.

    The same eyebrow goes slightly higher when people suggest they have the generic correct approach to a complex I.T. issue. There are superior ways to view, assess, consider and decide on an issue – but even Bill Gates is just an opinion holder when it comes to the pro’s & con’s of, say, Cloud computing for small business.

    The Financial Times has started a series on Cloud computing that every small business person of the internet age should watch and read. It’s part video, part article, and seems to be a calm and balanced perspective on I.T. security and other issues. Have a look at the link below – it’s all easy going for the non-techies.

    http://www.ft.com/intl/reports/understanding-cloud-computing

    I urge everyone to get themselves informed about the so-called “Cloud” before forming any opinions about the security of this way of doing business. Even the word “Cloud” gets flung about willy-nilly and is usually used as a marketing term rather than referring to a specific storage/processing/access architecture. Words can’t describe what my eyebrow does when I hear the term “cloud” misused.

    Remember that connecting one computer to another (or many) has inherent risks and rewards. Sometimes these risks and rewards can be quantified, often they can’t be which means the real issue for consideration is Uncertainty – not risks, rewards, feelings, beliefs or other. Only when you know more about managing uncertainty can you make a truly informed choice. It doesn’t have to be hard to measure & manage your uncertainty – Heisenberg cracked quantum uncertainty just after WW1, and we’ve gained a lot of uncertainty experience over the past 90 years.

    If you would like see a truly concerning example of uncertainty in the realm of information security, have a look at the file attached to see where a typical financial institution sends your banking and insurance information. Your financial institutions should have something similar on their web sites. This is something we should all be raising an eyebrow about.

    #1163753
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the link. I agree that there is a lot of confusion about the variations that are described as the ‘Cloud’ – hopefully this helps people to understand more clearly.

    Kathy

    #1163754
    Greg_M
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    Thanks, a very good post.

    Great link too, haven’t read them all yet … but I will.

    Cheers

    #1163755
    Jason@Plumsale
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    Yes I do need to bite my tongue every time someone refers to cloud as “in the internet somewhere”. But thats where marketers have taken it, and we need to accept that the term cloud has 2 meanings, ie the general marketing term for a service on the internet and the infrastructure term for elastic and scalable systems.

    That particular article in the age/smh had nothing to do with cloud, it was purely based on poor business decisions. People have jumped on board and stated that the migration to the cloud was the expense, but it would have been a similar expense if he was migrating between 2 desktop software packages using the same outsource company to do so.

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