Symantec study shows disappointment cloud computing is not magical

For a while, even hard-bitten IT types hoped cloud could end some headaches, not just cover them up

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Disappointing, unless you realize cloud is a large-scale technology that only works as efficiently as it’s supposed to when it’s spread out across a large area.

It’s a matter of scale.

More than three-quarters of Symantec’s respondents said their staff doesn’t have the experience to complete a cloud project.

No kidding. And only 20 percent of you had finished one so far?

This is surprising?

Eighty seven percent of respondents said moving to the cloud will either improve their security or leave it the same, but it was also the point on which respondents felt most insecure.

New technology; new problems. No surprise that the security issues aren’t fixed yet, but the basic technologies underlying cloud computing are not brand new.

Wide-area networking, virtualized servers, networking, remote-access, shared-resource applications are all common and well understood with IT world.

How to do them securely within a specific cloud environment is not.

Cloud itself comes up short in some ways; it’s too young to have developed the kinds of safeguards required for many companies.

But it’s not a complete beginner. Private clouds are easier because you can control access, but that’s why most large organizations are using external clouds only for non-critical applications.

They know they have to work out the security issues before the use the new resources.

Disappointment due to inflated expectations of IT

An astonishing number of high-level IT people seem insecure about how far they’ve advanced in cloud computing because there’s so much hype about it, they just assume everyone else is farther ahead than they are, according to Sean Hackett, Research Director at The 451 Group.

Talking to senior-level IT people at large organizations it’s clear most companies are still wrestling with how to build their internal virtual-server and virtualized-application infrastructures most efficiently.

Once they finish that, then they plan to spend serious time working on cloud, he said.

Virtualizing servers changes the structure of all the applications and servers in IT, because none of them can count on the others being where they’re supposed to be. Virtualization means mobility, not dependence on the location of hardware.

All the apps, networks, access lists, security, directories and database managers IT has ever built depend on physical location. Virtualization wipes that out and forces IT to figure out how to most efficiently arrange both the virtual servers and the traffic they draw.

Cloud will make that worse, and better. Eventually.

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