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How to handle 3 common cloud computing risks

Making the move to the cloud can be a tricky endeavor, and organizations that undertake data and application migration need to understand risks that may be present during such a move. As cloud adoption – and, specifically, adoption of hybrid IT infrastructure – continues to represent one of the biggest trends in technology of the past few years, administrators and executives alike should learn what they can expect before it’s time to deploy.

According to RightScale’s recently released report, both private and public cloud adoption are on the rise. Private clouds saw a 14 percent increase (from 63 to 77 percent), and public environments rose slightly from 88 to 89 percent adoption. This drove the saturation of hybrid cloud among enterprises to 71 percent. With all of these businesses deploying data and applications in virtual environments, there are bound to be risks involved – but where there are risks, there are also solutions.

Let’s take a look at some common risks associated with cloud computing and how to mitigate them effectively:

“Organizations run the risk of experiencing vendor lock-in.”

1. Data access and vendor lock-in

When organizations move their data to the cloud, they run the risk of experiencing vendor lock-in. This is essentially what happens when companies put their information in a virtual environment and then, because of prohibitive removal fees, can’t take it out if they wished to in the future. It can also result from technology incompatibility, according to TechTarget. Vendor lock-in, therefore, can create specific financial hurdles that can mean bad news for organizations that didn’t expect to be charged for data retrieval.

Hybrid IT strategies can help solve this potential problem of investing in cloud-based data storage. By leveraging a multi-cloud platform that can essentially dip its toes into several different clouds without needing to extract the required data, organizations don’t have to pay those hefty retrieval fines.

2. Expertise (or lack thereof)

The RightScale survey found a troubling trend within the tech community: A shortage of personnel is beginning to plague the industry. In fact, 32 percent of those surveyed found lack of expertise to be number-one cloud challenge. As demand for these experts increases, this disparity is only going to become more prominent.

By investing in a private cloud infrastructure, companies can outsource their cloud management capabilities to a qualified provider and ensure they are getting a service that will benefit them in the long run. This issue only has to be a risk if you’re looking to your own IT employees for cloud management.

Cloud experts can be found working for your private cloud infrastructure provider.Cloud experts can be found working for your private cloud provider.

3. Security concerns

Cloud security has always been a hot topic, and will most likely continue to be one for the foreseeable future. Distributed denial-of-service attacks, for instance, are one of the kinds of cybersecurity incidents that cloud environments could suffer. This type of cybercrime occurs when a network is bombarded by traffic, such that the infrastructure doesn’t have the strength to support it. According to ITProPortal contributor Jason Parms, DDoS attacks could incur, among other things, an increase in IT spend due to excessive resource use.

It’s important to negate the impact of DDoS attacks – and other security concerns – by investing in a security solution specifically tailored to fighting this kind of crime. By integrating your firewalls and other network security infrastructure directly into your cloud environment, you can improve data protection and see a significant change in the security of your IT strategy.

These risks can become advantages of cloud computing with the right management. As hybrid infrastructure – the combination of both on-premises and cloud deployments – becomes a more viable strategy for today’s organizations, effective management of these tools is going to become even more critical.

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