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What is Cloud Computing? Part 5 – Cloud Challenges

In the first 4 parts of this series, we defined the Cloud and discussed some of its many advantages. Which brings up an interesting question—“Are there any potential pitfalls of migrating your business to a Cloud Computing environment?” We’ll explore that issue in this post.

One issue that has to be addressed when planning a Cloud migration is the connection to the Internet. Most businesses only have a single Internet circuit. If the Internet circuit goes out, most employees can still do a limited amount of work on their personal computers (PCs). As long as the Internet outage doesn’t last too long, it isn’t a debilitating problem (some would argue that due to the proliferation of cloud-based applications like email and Google Docs, this statement is debatable).

But in a Cloud Computing environment based on desktop virtualization, an Internet outage means that employees do not have access to their desktops until Internet service is restored. Obviously, that is not a good situation. So how can this risk be mitigated?

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Disaster Recovery

Can your business survive a natural disaster?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after a disaster.

The biggest problem when a natural disaster hits is the absence of a disaster recovery plan. If you are interested in what goes in to developing a disaster recovery plan, check out this FEMA site (your tax dollars at work).

If you read closely, the only suggestion for IT preparedness is that, “recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business. Manual workarounds should be part of the IT plan so business can continue while computer systems are being restored.”

Wow! That really helps! What are you supposed to do if all of your servers and workstations are destroyed? What if all of your backups are gone too? Where do you source new servers and how do you reload all of your applications and personal data on every personal computer?

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