Busted! 5 Cloud Computing Myths

The cloud hype cycle continues to swirl, and now that larger enterprises are wading in, the messages coming through can be pretty confusing. I work with a lot of companies moving development and test environments to the cloud in my job at Skytap, so I thought it might be fun to share a list of 5 cloud computing myths that crop up and can be easily busted.​

1. The cloud will replace datacenters for all computing needs

TRUTH: Mainframes are not dead.

While many may want you to believe that running your own datacenters is a thing of the past, for larger enterprises, this is obviously not the case. The best example of this was the belief that mainframes would somehow magically go away. They have not and continue to be purchased and maintained. Why? Because of the running applications that work today, which leads to the second myth.

2. All existing applications will be re-architected for the cloud

TRUTH: Service-oriented architectures took a while to become mainstream.

There is definitely a new architectural paradigm in town called ‘cloud architectures.’ The change is simple: Infrastructure can fail, so if you want to keep apps running in the face of this failure, you need to architect your apps to handle this. However, as we saw with the emergence of SOA architectures, this change takes time, and many, many applications that work today will never be re-built or re-architected. In fact, many new applications will continue to use traditional architectures that depend on the reliability of the underlying infrastructure.

3. You can drag and drop applications between ‘private’ and public clouds

TRUTH: We have not solved for the speed of light.

Virtual machines can be large and moving large bits over the Internet can take minutes, hours, or even days. You can see this reality played out with services like AWS Import—Skytap also offers the ability to mail in hard drives and we will import your virtual machines for you. Unless your private cloud has a massive, low latency pipe to your public cloud, it is unlikely the drag/drop feature is going to work efficiently any time soon. Additionally, there are application architectures where some components can leverage the public cloud while some need to remain on the private cloud side, hence creating a ‘hybrid cloud’ application.

4. Amazon will be the only cloud provider and they have already won.

TRUTH: We are seeing more entries to the market, not fewer.

After all, Windows didn’t destroy UNIX. When it comes to cloud computing providers, we are seeing more entries—Google and VMware being the latest to arrive at the party. This will create healthy competition and be good for customers. There will be multiple options with various pros and cons. My advice to customers is focus on the applications and lifecycle phase you are looking to tackle. For example, for a simple Ruby application, consider a PaaS option. For a complex architecture with dependencies on other internal systems, consider moving a piece of the app to the cloud and focus on solid VPN options from the cloud provider.

5. You have to re-architect your applications to move to the cloud.

TRUTH: Skytap customers are running thousands of migrated apps in the cloud today.

It takes a lot of time to re-architect applications and it does not make business sense in many cases. But this doesn’t mean you can’t go to the cloud. Skytap customers have brought their existing applications, tools, and processes completely intact to Skytap Cloud and they are able to create multiple development environments in seconds, run them in parallel, and customize them to meet their specific needs.

Skytap Cloud is purpose built for development and testing teams who have existing complex applications. If you are ready to move applications to the cloud, I encourage you to take a tour of the full Skytap Cloud product.

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