Early adopters of the cloud had to iron out a lot of teething troubles. Because of their pioneering work, building and deploying a cloud is now much easier, making the benefits available to all kinds of businesses, says Gerry Carr, Director of Communications at Canonical.
The cloud has been the preserve of technology-focused companies until recently - but not any more. IT departments across all industries are getting interested in what the cloud can offer - from increased service flexibility to lower capital expenditure and infrastructure costs.
Although many companies are turned on to the cloud, there are still barriers to adoption. A common one, for example, is the lingering perception that cloud environments are too complex, difficult to deploy and onerous to manage.
Here, we show how the cloud has come of age, and de-bunk some common cloud myths that are holding back adoption.
Myth 1) Building a cloud can take months
Not any more. The whole operation now takes just a few days. This is largely thanks to the global open-source community, which has developed great tools speeding up cloud deployment - from installing and configuring physical servers in the cloud, to creating, deploying and scaling cloud-based services dynamically.
Myth 2) You need new hardware to deploy a cloud
Not necessarily. The best cloud solutions can be deployed on your existing X86 hardware - increasing server utilisation and performance. What's more, you can convert old servers into additional compute nodes - increasing your processing capacity at no extra cost.
Myth 3) There aren't many applications available for the cloud
Not true. There are now a large number of excellent open-source applications designed specifically for the cloud - from databases and web-based applications, to big data applications.
Myth 4) Developers need to learn new languages to deploy services in the cloud
No. While working with new languages such as Node.js or Go is useful if you want your cloud-based apps to look like desktop apps, they're far from essential.
Myth 5) It's complex to move from public to private clouds (and vice versa)
Only if you choose proprietary platforms, which use their own APIs. By choosing the best open-source clouds instead, you can ensure compatibility with all the major public and private clouds, and move workloads around easily in the future.
Myth 6) The cloud isn't secure
It is if you do things right. If you take services from a public cloud provider, you should review the security service level agreement (SLA) thoroughly. If you're building a private cloud, you should standardise the way software is deployed in the cloud and regularly review your firewall rules.
Myth 7) It's hard to support a cloud environment
Not at all. There are now great support packages specifically designed for open-source clouds - both public and private.
As we've seen here, the old barriers to cloud adoption are falling away. This is largely thanks to the immense effort of the global open-source community, which is building cloud products and standards that simplify cloud deployment, management and support.