There is a whole host of common misconceptions surrounding the cloud and its effectiveness, with low cloud costs often being argued as one of the core benefits of cloud deployment. But is it as cheap as everyone keeps saying? It's important to note that cost is not everything when it comes to your data’s storage and backup, and finding a solution that works best with your business in mind is more essential. Although there has been research conducted that indicates a drop in cost in cloud computing, we are going to briefly discuss if we think if cloud is as cost-effective as everyone believes, or if it is a myth.
Is the cloud a cheaper option?
The cloud is cheaper, but only for small amounts of data that does not change very much. Don’t be deceived by the low cost, because there are lots of hidden charges that the large cloud providers do not tell you about prior to signing on the dotted line. For instance, the most common areas where additional charges slip in unbeknownst are bandwidth, access, and even the deletion of data has a charge. Cheaper costs also may mean a poorer level of customer support from the provider.
Virtual machines (VM) are the core ingredient to enable cloud computing. This is another cost that you need to take into consideration as each VM will also have a licence per month per VM, depending on its use. Compare this to renting a car, you do not ever own anything, and must keep on paying a monthly basis.
If you are considering moving to the cloud then we highly recommend trying to think of the costs in a holistic manner. Think about total cost of ownership (TCO), the upfront costs, and the additional fees.
Why do people think the cloud is a cheaper option?
The answer to this question is simply good marketing around the cloud. Many adverts say it is a fraction of a pence per month to store the data. That may well be true, but just like a low-cost airline they may not be telling you the complete story, and the prices can soon start to ramp up.
Another potential reason is that people may see a really easy to follow and simplistic pricing plan and just assume those are the only costs that will be incurred.
What makes the cloud convenient?
The cloud is convenient because of their tools to create new virtual machines in minutes, pre-configured and ready to go. But all these tools are easy to replicate on your own hardware. Like creating a new virtual machine in vmware VSphere from a template. This is possible to create a new VM in minutes too, but most people do not know about it and you have to do some work to find out.
What are the benefits of the cloud?
With the cloud you do not need to worry about the hardware and finding somewhere to store it. In the event your site has a disaster, you do not need to find somewhere else for your IT systems to go to. It allows your business to become more mobile and agile. The cloud is a great addition to an overall backup strategy. But it should never be your only method.
What are the drawbacks to the cloud?
The cloud is completely unregulated. Unlike a home electricity or mobile phone provider, Cloud providers are under no obligation to help you move to a competitor. If they ramp up their prices or you just want to move somewhere cheaper, they do not have to help you..why should they? They have your data and you are stuck with them and their prices. Moving terrabytes of data is going to be a real pain. In the unlikely event of your office internet connection failing you have no access to any of your cloud based systems.
What are you using the cloud for or planning to use it for? If it’s only for file sharing and syncing then the cloud is a great avenue to go down, but if it’s for data backups then you need to make your decision more carefully. Note, most cloud providers just act as an external hard drive- not a backup solution.
We recommend taking a look at our Managed Service Guide to discover more about our cloud data backup solutions, and our other backup and disaster recovery solutions, which are 100% our own.