On Monday, we polled IT and business leaders about how they're using public and private clouds. The respondents to our pair of suveys who say they are well on the way to a completely virtual data center outnumber those who haven't started using the cloud at all.
Nearly one-quarter of respondents to each of our two polls--one for IT managers and another for business managers--said they're on the way to a virtualized data center. Only 17 percent of people who took either poll said they're not using the cloud at all. The remainder have some sort of cloud initiative in place, either public or private.
Based on these results, small businesses seem to be buying into the notion of the cloud, but taking extra precautions against data loss. A spring survey by In-Stat shows that even when SMBs are buying cloud storage, they are also buying NAS systems for internal use to back up the online storage.
Security is enough of an issue that lawmakers are questioning the possible need for federal standards for cloud security before government agencies move existing IT systems to remote servers. While past efforts to legislate good IT aren't ideal, the idea is nonetheless good: making sure the cloud systems you use are protected as well as possible against hacking or data loss through systems failure. The ultimate reason is not to comply with a standard, but to ensure that your business continues to have access to critical data.
There are myriad ways to move systems to the cloud, and doing so can create savings in equipment costs as well as in ongoing costs for utilities, maintenance, and management. Just make sure to look for ways to ensure that even if the cloud vendor's data center is hit by a meteor or abruptly shutters its doors, your data will continue to be available.
Forty people responded to our poll for IT managers, and 32 took the poll for business managers.