Why is IT so bad at cloud computing?

One in five don't secure servers in the cloud? That's not ignorance or neglect; it's denial

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What I kept running into were people who had some kind of conceptual block they could move around like a box inside their heads.

They understood virtualization, how to manage virtualized systems, how to overcome the weaknesses of "virtual" systems neither the sysadmins nor most of their management tools could see.

They understood how the cloud technology worked, how to allocate resources, how to evaluate the results.

Sometimes they even understood how to deconstruct existing applications so they were more services-oriented; software designed to run as SOA can be treated as separate application within the cloud, so it's possible to assign more CPU power or memory or storage to the database, query and search functions and other pieces at the business end of the app, rather than spending the same resources for access control or storage management as for data crunching.

No matter how well they seemed to understand the various little pictures, most managed to misunderstand some portion of their relationship with external service providers.

"Cloud" is cushy, but secure your own damn servers

Most didn't get that cloud providers are not full-service outsourcers who run and maintain the apps they house.

Nice as it would be to finally find it, cloud providers are not the vendors who will finally deliver he Auto-Magic feature that was supposed to be part of every labor-saving app or system you ever bought. ("It happens, auto-magically; you don't have to do a thing.") Cloud providers don't promise to take any big pile of bad code, unstable software or cluster of VMs and take away your need to be involved in any way once you hand off the messy IT to them.

Cloud providers provide IT, not miracles. The cloud can't fix all your problems; it can't even hide them all.

If you don't trust the security of the cloud, but aren't completely sure why, it's possible you haven't gotten your hands dirty enough to figure it out. That's true especially if you know everything there is to know about how to secure your corporate networks and servers against all threats. Your servers in the cloud are the same as they were in your data center. Only the IP addresses are different.

"The cloud" is not Oz; it's a data center. It's someone else's data center. It might work better than yours, have plenty of resources it can rent you whenever you need them and someone who smiles and speaks politely when you call with a question or a problem (rather than the incomprehensible argot of scowls, growls and obscure acronymicry sysadmins use to fend off meddling even from highly technical managers).

"The Cloud" is luxury co-location, hosting services with ease-of-use functions that actually ease use; outsourcing without the complete loss of control.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters

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