One of the great promises made by cloud providers is that the adoption of cloud computing greatly reduces IT costs of any company. A crucial part of this promise, which can be found in most cost calculators “cloud” available on the Internet, is the reduction in labor costs. If you host an internal server, you need a system administrator to manage the server, if you hire a virtual server with the same specs of a public cloud provider, do not need anyone, and everything that is going to pay that person becomes in “cost savings”. This naturally leads us to the following question: Is the cloud computing to IT departments?
If we follow the logic of the seller to its final conclusion, we could end up in a situation where the only place where they can find jobs related to infrastructure (servers, networks, even operating systems) would be in the cloud infrastructure providers in themselves. These key areas of IT disappear over time, as jobs become increasingly scarce. The idea of not needing them is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, business users, especially those who have a bad relationship with IT, they see a very attractive, and use it as a reason to promote cloud, and on the other, generates resistance from IT departments, who understand that the idea of not needing anyone is just a myth.
The reality on the cloud servers and applications,
Several of the assumptions that people make about the cloud servers are simply not true, and some are being actively denied by cloud providers. The backup, for example, is an assumption. Many people still assume that cloud servers automatically make a backup, but in the end there is no established any backup scheme and end up losing a lot of data. The fact is that cloud providers do not perform any automatic backup unless you explicitly ask them to do so, which is something that most users forget to do.
The security management is another issue. It’s easy to think that since the server is hosted on an infrastructure of others, they will worry about all safety issues for you, but nothing could be further from reality. When you hire a server in the cloud, most cloud providers will deliver a virtual server with some sort of remote connection enabled. This means that, unless you configure your server behind some kind of firewall or security rules, will basically open to attack from the outside as they rise. While there are no statistics on this point, some servers have been configured with FTP access that have been attacked within five minutes after coming into operation.
This means that IT have someone behind managing your servers, even hosted outside can be very important. Sure, you can do it yourself, but then you’re in the same situation as if you had been trying to manage internal data center. The fact is, for most, a server in the cloud is like an internal server, only “stored” elsewhere. This means you need a system administrator as you would on any other server.
The cloud applications are, in a sense, even more problematic. Who is responsible for the environment? What if a user accidentally deletes important data or a user account is divided? Proper management of passwords, make policies, strategies backup access control and other issues are even more important. Solution providers limit their liability in making your data meets predefined SLA, say absolutely nothing about the copy of the data, nor are able to restore them later. The same applies to the management of users and passwords: responsibility is entirely in the hands of the user. If all accounts are configured with weak or default passwords, you’re running a real risk that someone will invade and steal confidential data.
As more and more data and more applications move to the cloud, these are becoming interesting targets, and attacks grow. This means that, more than ever, you need IT people to manage cloud application environment, as people needed to manage your infrastructure.
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