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Arjan de Jong

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Traditional infrastructure; the perception of being in control

It’s all about making a decision

“When I move my infrastructure to the cloud I loose control over it”. A remark I often hear when talking to businesses or reading surveys. Before we get into the depth of it let’s first take a moment and discuss ‘control’.

What is control?

According to Wikipedia, control is the ability to purposefully direct, or suppress, change. When reading this explanation I ask myself whether I always have to ability to direct or suppress change. I think not. There will always be situations in which I don’t have the ability to do anything about it. Let me give you an example of a situation. when I am at the poker table, do I have the ability to change the outcome of the cards? Let me give you another example. When Apple launched its iPhone it was jailbroken very quickly. Apple tried to fix this by patching its software, after which it was jailbroken again. Even the iPhone 4, which has not been officially released yet, has been jailbroken already.

Are you in control of your infrastructure?

When your infrastructure is based on physical hardware and runs in your own data center you probably think you have full control over it. What happens when you receive a DDos-attack? One of your hard-disk breaks down? A power failure? Could you have controlled this from happening? I guess not. There will always be external factors you have no control over. You can increase your control by minimizing the possibility of external factors having influence on your infrastructure, but you will never be able to have full control.

Cloud computing; other levels of control

Switching to cloud computing does not necessarily mean you loose control. The control switches to other components and levels. It’s up to you to decide whether you can live with the level and type of control cloud computing offers you today compared to your current infrastructure.

It’s all about making a decision

In the end it’s a business decision and not just a matter of control whether or not you want to move (parts of) your infrastructure to the cloud. By moving to the cloud, you can save on hardware costs, increase the efficiency and performance of your platform, free up resources to be used elsewhere, etc. How much are you willing to sacrifice for the perception of being in control?

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Arjan de Jong is Sales & Marketing Manager of Basefarm and has been working in the Internet industry since 1997.