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Cloud Computing

Daniel Viveiros (Global) - The Changing View of Development in the Cloud - Moving Towards a Bright Future: Part 2

In the first part of this post, we looked at the rise in popularity of cloud computing among software developers. But questions still remain as to the cloud's security and reliability, and what the future holds.

Despite the benefits of cloud development in the speed and cost savings it can offer to the business, many companies still view it as too unstable and unreliable to be trusted to host their infrastructures. Though their concerns are somewhat warranted, i.e. the aforementioned Amazon outage, I believe that with the right considerations and planning, companies can clear this mental hurdle and start leveraging the cloud for their own businesses.

The key to developing applications in the cloud is to be smart about how you approach it. It's not something you can just dive into, and it should be approached in the same way as any other considerable IT investments should - with a backup plan in place. Companies need to prepare their architectures for cloud development in such a way that allows for the application to run regardless of any outage that may occur. This includes building out comprehensive disaster recovery plans that will ensure development can continue in the event that resources do become unavailable at any given time in the process. As most companies already have such plans in place for their current, on-premise systems, it's simply a matter of applying these same disaster recovery planning processes to their investments in the cloud.

The other chief mental roadblock is security - many organizations just aren't comfortable with shifting all of their corporate data to a public cloud, and instead opt to design private ones. What these companies fail to realize, however, is that private clouds are in many ways less secure than public ones. Private clouds rely on the security infrastructure of the company that houses them, while the public cloud is designed with security as a chief consideration. Moreover, private clouds are often less reliable. So while it's understandable that companies should be wary of investing in the public cloud and are right to worry about their corporate data, many of these fears are in many ways unfounded. Forward-thinking executives have already realized this, and once the holdouts see how successful cloud development has proven for these organizations, the walls to widespread cloud adoption will come crumbling down.

Looking to the Future

The most important thing to remember about the cloud is not to expect perfection right off the bat. Because it isn't perfect. Nothing is.

What it is, however, is the most promising new advancement in software development to come along in years. In five years, the question of whether to leverage the cloud in application development projects won't be a question at all. And in ten years, cloud offerings from the major players will dominate development, while current standard platforms like Java and .Net will be pushed to the background.

The benefits of the cloud are clear and real. The advantages it offers in terms of speed and cost-savings will eventually change the minds of reluctant IT executives worried about security and reliability issues. And make no mistake: it's the future of web and mobile development. If you've been considering harnessing the power of the cloud for your own application development efforts, there's no time like the present.

PArt 1: The Changing View of Development in the Cloud - Moving Towards a Bright Future

By Daniel Viveiros, Technology Manager, Ci&T

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