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Issues with Cloud Computing

Applied IT (Year 12) - Impacts of Technology (U4)

Christian Bien

What is the Cloud? | CNBC Explains

This video provides an overview on what is the cloud, its applications in everyday life and what it means for the future of technology.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a series of networked computers, holding data and programs, accessible via the internet.

Confidentiality and Sensitivity of Data

Businesses generate and hold a lot of personal and sensitive data that needs to be protected. Company secrets for example, should be kept securely on cloud servers.

Businesses need to consider the following:

  • Could the cloud service provider's employees access the data

  • Is the cloud data encrypted? If so, who holds the encryption keys?

  • Cloud servers are often located in areas around the world.

  • What are the privacy policies of the cloud storage provider? For example, Dropbox will release information by request of authorities.

The main problem with cloud computing is that you're surrendering control of the data. The business no longer has control over security, privacy and ownership/IP. Businesses must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud.

Accessibility of Data and Availability of Online Applications

Cloud computing means all data and programs are stored offsite on a network of servers accessible via the internet. Accessibility is limited by the reliability of the internet connection.

  • Absence of an internet connection could lead to inaccessibility of data.

  • Internet speed and bandwidth could restrict the reliability of accessing data.

In addition, the accessibility of data also considers the reliability of cloud servers themselves.

  • Downtown of cloud servers could lead to data being inaccessible.

  • Cloud service provider's employees could access data stored on cloud servers.

  • Hackers could breach cloud servers and access data.

Cloud Server Uptimes

Fortunately, most cloud servers advertise a strong uptime percentage backed by service-level agreements to ensure reliability. Below are example uptimes advertised by cloud service providers:

  • Amazon Web Services - Guarantee in its service level agreement for a monthly uptime percentage of 99.99%. 

  • Microsoft Azure - Guara​ntee in its service level agreement an uptime of 99.99% or 99.95% for services deployed in two or more regions. 

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