On August 14th, many development teams which relied on Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online to manage their complex project deliveries must have groaned ‘Nightmares are made of this!’ when the service suffered more than a 5 hour outage. The unprecedented blackout (though followed by acandid apology and explanation from Microsoft) once again brings the very concept of moving one’s computing processes to the cloud – under a cloud!
Cloud computing could take different forms like Information-as-a-service (IaaS) Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) like Windows Azure, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) like DCR’s Smart Track Vendor Management System. Undoubtedly, businesses enjoy great advantages when they move their data and processes from their in-house servers to a hosted provider.
Some of the primary advantages of making the move to the cloud are that:
Of course, like all good things, the naysayers will point out the possible flip side.
When you are signing up a SaaS-based application, look into these things:
Clearly, cloud-based computing has proven to provide great benefits over traditional client/server applications. Uses can expect greater access, reduced costs, and higher availability. However, all SaaS, IaaS and PaaS vendors do not adhere to the same standards.
Clichéd as it may sound; the proof of a pudding is always in the eating. In the case of service providers, you will gain invaluable insight by looking at their track record. One litmus test would be to see if any of their previous customers jumped ship for reasons known/unknown. Ask for references, and follow up with specific questions regarding reliability, availability and security. Read online reviews. These simple steps will ensure a “peace of mind” approach to cloud computing.
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