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Why the cloud is “rent vs buy” for many businesses

That’s one of the questions raised in this Minneapolis Star Tribune article titled “Questioning the Cloud.”

Star Tribune journalist Steve Alexander speaks with Minneapolis based SparkWeave about their business model, how they feel about the onslaught of buzz around the largest public cloud providers like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM, and why private clouds are the way to go for many companies.

Just consider some of the main points the article makes:

  • “The slower adoption of cloud [computing] within the U.S. and Europe reflects a greater hesitancy … about putting mission-critical and customer data on the cloud,” Forbes magazine reported last week.
  • “The rapid growth of public cloud computing has been driven mostly by smaller companies that can’t afford their own data centers.”
  • “Heavy computer users could save money by using their own data centers instead.”
  • “With some of the big public clouds, you don’t know whether your data is stored in Virginia or New Jersey…”
  • “Cloud computing is economical for companies that only need computing during 20 to 25 percent of their working hours, he said. If a company needs computing more often than that, it’s cheaper to buy and run its own computers.”
  • “If the data’s stored in the Amazon public cloud, you don’t know where it is. I’m not saying that Amazon isn’t secure, I’m just saying you can’t prove it one way or the other.”

So, what to make of this?  My take…

  • The largest public clouds are not as attractive to many companies as some cloud fanatics might say.
  • For medium to large companies, it’s better to own than rent your data center.
  • No matter how much spin there is about public cloud security, many businesses aren’t buying it.
  • Since data has always been called the lifeblood of a business, they have the right to know where it’s stored.

The big question is the same one posed at the very beginning of article…”Who do you trust more with your data, someone outside your company or yourself?”

Are the big public cloud players over-hyped? Or have they just figured out a way to own the holy grail of tech companies:  the SMB?

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