Megaupload's megaupset makes Cloud clarity critical

15 March 2012

InTechnology sees clear distinction between consumer-grade and business-grade Cloud

Leading managed services provider, InTechnology has warned businesses that recent issues with Megaupload shouldn't deter them from adopting Cloud computing.

In February, Megaupload, a file sharing website was shut down by prosecutors in the United States amid claims users were illegally sharing music and films, costing copyright holders an estimated £315m. The impact of this was that thousands of law-abiding users of the website also lost access to their data, personal files, photos and documents, at least for the time being if not permanently.

Stefan Haase, divisional product director, data Cloud services at InTechnology said: "The whole Megaupload debacle puts the spotlight on the absolute distinction between consumer-grade Cloud and business-grade Cloud. High profile news stories about outages at major consumer-grade Cloud providers are, rightly, making people increasingly suspicious of the public Cloud. Unfortunately, this is making them, wrongly, also question the benefits of the private, business-grade Cloud.

In a recent BBC report, Gartner analyst, Jay Heiser suggested that losing data was a bigger threat than confidentiality and advised users to make a second copy of material in a secondary provider's infrastructure. Haase argues this doesn't ring true for the business community.

"This suggestion might make sense if you're managing your personal photos but if you're talking about business data it makes no economic sense at all. One of the main reasons businesses choose to use a Cloud service provider is to remove their operational costs - a financial and resource gain immediately diluted if you're paying for two facilities and having to deal with two separate providers.

"If the Cloud is still on your business wish list it's important to find a provider that will offer you the resilience, security and business-grade SLAs you require, so the Cloud needn't cause you any sleepless nights."

To make sure you're really going to get true business-grade Cloud computing, Haase advises asking the following questions of any Cloud service provider you're thinking of using:

1. Do you own and manage your own Tier 3 data centre or are you reliant on third parties?

2. Are your data centres embedded in your own private, resilient network?

3. Do you provide a business-grade server and storage infrastructure?

4. Do you automatically backup data to geographically diverse locations?

5. Does my data ever leave the UK?

6. Do you have 24/7 manned support?

7. Can I get a robust Service Level Agreement?