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The risks of cloud computing

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The skies are the limit if you believe every cloud computing vendor. But they never mention the risks, according to a leading IT analyst, and this may be why investment firms large and small are very cautious about this promising technology solution.

According to Bill Kleyman, there are still some inherent drawbacks and weaknesses to a cloud model's security or design. He writes, "Not everyone utilizes cloud best practices. And, expecting too much from a cloud provider can lead to overuse and improper utilization of cloud resources. The bottom line: it's not always sunny in the cloud computing world."

Here are some cloud considerations that every Wall Street technologist must address:

When it comes to security, Kleyman says that your firm's cloud will be a target. "No single environment is safe and every infrastructure must be controlled with set policies in place. Take Dropbox, for example, which recently had a security breach, which forced people to rethink just how secure the cloud really is," he writes.

CIOs must be wary of and expect outages. LIke death and taxes, your can count on your cloud going down.

Kleyman writes, "No entity is 100 percent safe from some type of disaster or emergency. In fact, a powerful storm in June knocked out an entire data center which was owned by Amazon. What was hosted in that data center? Amazon Web Services. All affected AWS businesses in that data center were effectively down. Cloud-centric companies like Instagram, Netflix and Pinterest were all made production-ineffective for over six hours."

For further proof, International Working Group recently conducted a study on Cloud Computing Resiliency and it showed that since 2007, about 568 hours were logged as downtime between 13 major cloud carriers. The pricetag for these outages? About $72 million.

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