Challenges of Cloud Computing

The following are some of the notable challenges associated with cloud computing, and although some of these may cause a slowdown when delivering more services in the cloud, most also can provide opportunities, if resolved with due care and attention in the planning stages.

1. Security - One of the biggest challenges of cloud computing is its perceived security risks. There is a general notion that anything hosted on cloud is not safe and secure; they are vulnerable to hackings and data compromise. 

2. Data Privacy and Integrity - As users, we are mostly concerned with data privacy. How do we know that our sensitive personal information is not sold by the cloud service provider to a third-party? 

3. Lack of Standards - Clouds have documented interfaces; however, no standards are associated with these, and thus it is unlikely that most clouds will be interoperable. The Open Grid Forum is developing an Open Cloud Computing Interface to resolve this issue and the Open Cloud Consortium is working on cloud computing standards and practices. The findings of these groups will need to mature, but it is not known whether they will address the needs of the people deploying the services and the specific interfaces these services need. However, keeping up to date on the latest standards as they evolve will allow them to be leveraged, if applicable. 

4. Management Capabilities - Despite there being multiple cloud providers, the management of platform and infrastructure is still in its infancy. Features like „Auto-scaling‟ for example, are a crucial requirement for many enterprises. There is huge potential to improve on the scalability and load balancing features provided today. 

5. Disaster Recovery - It is a concern of enterprises about the resiliency of cloud computing as data may reside in multiple servers and geographical locations. In such a situation, what is the disaster recovery plan if any of the servers go down? What if we lose data at a point in time due to server failure? Organizations therefore are extremely concerned on the disaster recovery plan. 

6. Regulatory and Compliance Restrictions - In some of the European countries, Government regulations do not allow customer's personal information and other sensitive information to be physically located outside the state or country. In order to meet such requirements, cloud providers need to setup a data center or a storage site exclusively within the country to comply with regulations. Having such an infrastructure may not always be feasible and is a big challenge for cloud providers. 

7. Continuously Evolving - User requirements are continuously evolving, as are the requirements for interfaces, networking, and storage. This means that a “cloud,” especially a public one, does not remain static and is also continuously evolving.


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