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Are Hidden Costs Dampening Cloud Computing Benefits?

Cloud Computing benefits

Hidden costs aren’t really a laughing matter…

Cloud adoption is not a straight line proposition. It is increasingly the main push for many organizations looking to upgrade their IT strategy. A major reason for the shift includes the cloud’s obvious benefits; another reasoning stems from the fact that older IT models simply cannot deliver the speed and agility necessary to compete in today’s marketplace.

However, just because cloud is new and popular doesn’t mean it doesn’t require as much or more work than existing systems. With an emphasis on management or even relying on an outsourcing partner, many IT organizations can successfully implement cloud for their organization. Yet, all businesses could run the risk of falling short of maximizing efficiencies within the cloud and running upadded costs that weren’t estimated for at the outset of a project.

So what are some hidden costs you need to know to look out for to better access cloud computing benefits?

1) Poor performance

Depending on the nature of your relationship with your cloud provider, you can look forward to more (or less) root access and self-provisioning control. The degree of control you have over your environment can have major claims towards your full understanding of what pieces of infrastructure are in play, what’s under-performing and how improvements can be made.

Performance, however, also has a lot to do with application optimization. Moving applications to the cloud can also result in performance bottlenecks for reasons as simple as your hardware is running an older OS that’s no longer supported, or even single points of failure on the client side of infrastructure being used to support the application’s development.

2) Monitoring problems

Breaches can cost serious dollars, especially where fines can be levied for lapses in compliance protocol. However, monitoring is key to understanding where efficiencies are lacking: whether resources are ongoing but unused, or if there are available resources that should be brought to bear for a project.

Another hidden cost associated with monitoring is that lack of focus can result in errors going unreported and unaddressed, leading to greater inefficiency or even failure. Monitoring is a proactive discipline, and often utilizing a managed service provider can alleviate the internal monitoring time so that your team can focus on improving other efficiencies for your application.

3) Poorly defined SLAs

We’ve discussed SLAs at length before, but there is a lot to consider when crafting what goes into your agreement with an outsourced cloud provider. Business continuity is a major issue when considering how cloud will impact an IT strategy, and can become a real cost center if not properly geared towards the needs of both the application and the business. Downtime, after all, is the largest potential loss of revenue for a business.

Depending on what kind of cloud provider you use, you can expect more or less flexibility where the SLA is concerned. Big cloud like AWS will have a standard SLA because it isn’t in their interest given the volume of business capacity to specialize every agreement. If you are comfortable with their terms, then utilizing their platform is optimal. If, however, you require more guarantees where business continuity and credits for downtime are concerned, other providers will provide a higher touch experience in crafting the SLA to meet your business requirements.

Agree/Disagree? Let us know on Twitter @CloudGathering.

By Jake Gardner

Read the original blog entry...

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