Can The Cloud be Free In Business?

The cloud offers businesses new perspectives, both on new services (collaboration, data sharing, mobile access) and on how to consume IT, service-oriented.

There are many services of this type available for free: Google Drive, Dropbox …

There are also open-source cloud services: OpenStack, for example, is an open-source software layer for building a home, private or public infrastructure.

Is a sustainable solution of this type possible in companies?

The limits of free cloud services

The prospect of using free cloud services is tempting for businesses, especially those with small budgets.

It is also a good way for service providers to appeal to promote their services.

However, the limits of the “free” are often too numerous to make durable and secure solutions for a company.

Free services limited in features

“Consumer” cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox are simple and accessible solutions, but they often call products to promote more feature-rich paid versions.

What may features be missing? It’s very different, but it can concern:

Limited storage space

Lack of safeguards and retention of data

Limited sharing of data and access to third parties

Limited data export

For a company, the mere absence of a hotline dedicated to troubleshooting the service can be a significant drag.

Free Cloud Services Can not Control Hosting

Most free services do not communicate about hosting applications and data, which is a critical point.

The recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has highlighted the importance of mapping and storing data.

The American Patriot Act allows the government, under certain conditions, to access the data stored via cloud services linked to the United States.

This holds for virtually all US service providers (Microsoft and Office 365, Google with its Google Office suite, etc.).

What is already debatable for an individual becomes critical for a company that manages data critical to its survival and for its customers.

It can not afford “pretty much” for data security.

The limits of the “free” do not make a perennial solution for use in business.

The company that wants to optimize the use of the cloud and derives the most benefit from it has every interest in mastering it from end to end: open-source solutions can be an interesting option.

But again, pay attention to the hidden costs!

The limits of open-source cloud in business

Open-source services are an interesting option because they make it possible to overcome the limits of free solutions and give the company a real command over the service.

But beware, “open-source” does not mean “free”!

What is this type of cloud?

Developing an open source software or tool is like leaving the code open.

This software can be exploited by developers or companies to be adapted or integrated into an information system.

The choice of a suitable open source tool is essential because once it is in place, any major changes will cause malfunctions and disruption of the services you offer.

The best-known solutions are CloudStack, OpenStack or Open Nebula.

The hidden costs of cloud deployment

A business cloud project (for example in a private format), whether based on open source or proprietary technologies, does not unfold in a snap.

It takes real expertise to select the required hardware, create and deploy the services and the necessary virtualization layer, and most importantly organize the migration of data to the cloud.

The deployment itself is time-consuming, and errors (especially during migration) can be very expensive.

In a competitive environment, it is tempting to save money by making solutions or technologies available for free.

It should not be forgotten that these “free” services are generally (very) limited and are riddled with hidden costs: mistrust must be in order!

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