Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

In this article, I will discuss the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing. Please read our previous article discussing Containers in Cloud Computing. At the end of this article, I am sure you will understand the Advantages and Disadvantages of using Cloud Computing.

Cloud Computing refers to the storage and access of data over the internet. Unlike traditional methods, data is not stored on the hard disk of your personal computer. Instead, it can be accessed from a remote server. Within this, keep in mind, let us proceed and understand the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Computing.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

Here are the advantages of Cloud Computing.

Reduced IT Costs

The most significant benefit of cloud computing is cost reduction or savings. If I have a business application and want to make it available online for users, prior to cloud computing, organizations had to purchase a physical server and all the related infrastructure to host the application. Servers are expensive, and organizations are faced with a large initial capex (i.e., capital expenditure).

It does not stop there. We need a server room to keep the server running smoothly, and that needs to be secured. The server needs to be set up and configured, connected to UPS and the network, and equipped with a proper cooling system. Install the server operating system, anti-virus software, Database server, and any other dependencies needed for the business application (such as the .NET framework or a web server like IIS).

As part of our responsibilities, we need to ensure that servers are up and running, i.e., maintain them in good health. This includes downloading and installing any available updates or security patches on the dedicated server machine. If there is a hardware failure, power failure, natural disaster, or other crisis, we are responsible for replacing that failed hardware. What about database backups, disaster recovery, failover systems, etc? To accomplish these, we need a specialized IT workforce both for the initial setup and ongoing maintenance. So, the point that I am trying to make it clear is that organizations are faced with a huge opex, i.e., operating expenses, which are usually monthly.

Moving to the cloud, organizations can reduce their capital expenditure (Capex) and operating expenses (Opex). Organizations no longer have to spend huge amounts of money on physical servers, related IT infrastructure, specialized IT workforce, server rooms, or data centers. Instead, they can use the cloud infrastructure and pay a monthly fee for the resources and services they use.

Pay as You Go

When using the cloud, payment is based on usage. This means that you only pay for what you use, similar to how you pay for your post-paid mobile, electricity, and water bills. If there is a lot of demand for your application and if you use a lot of cloud resources like storage, computing power, etc., you will pay more. If you use them less, you pay less. In short, cloud resources are metered, and you only pay for what you use.

Scalability and Flexibility

The cloud offers a variety of options for scalability and flexibility. By simply clicking a button, you can increase the cloud resources, such as memory, processing power, and storage. You can even automate this process by setting a limit. For instance, if you reach 90% of the current storage capacity, you can add another 100 GB to the storage. Similarly, if you are not utilizing the resources, you can scale them down and set a threshold limit for them. With the cloud, you never have to worry about running out of resources. You can easily scale up when you need more power and scale down when you don’t. Additionally, there’s no need to be charged with purchasing and installing expensive upgrades since your cloud service provider, such as Azure or Amazon Web Services, handles it all for you.

Global Accessibility

Cloud-based applications, services, and data can be accessed from anywhere and anytime with an internet connection – at home, at work, or while on holiday. All you really need is an internet-connected device.

Business Continuity

If you have your data stored on your own on-premise server, and if there’s a hardware failure, power failure, or other crisis, your data is gone. Without data, it is extremely difficult to run the business. The fact is, no data, no business. On the other hand, if data is stored in the cloud, then hardware failure, power failure, natural disaster, or other crises do not result in data loss because of networked backups.

Automatic Updates

When you host your applications on your own server, it becomes your responsibility to download and install software updates and security patches, which can be tedious and time-consuming. However, the service provider will automatically install all necessary security patches and software updates if you use the cloud. All you need to do is pay a small monthly fee.

Increased collaboration

With the cloud, it’s very easy for teams and team members to access, edit, and share files anytime and from anywhere. There is no longer the need to send documents and spreadsheets via email. It’s all in the cloud, and everyone who wants to have access has access. So teams are able to collaborate better.


Most of the resources and services the cloud provides can be self-serviced. That means with a little bit of learning, you can easily obtain, configure, and use cloud resources and services. For example, if you require a server to host your business application, there is no need to consult IT experts to determine the size and speed of the server. You can easily obtain a virtual machine or container from the cloud and host your application with a few clicks. If you need more processing power, you can scale up, and if you don’t need as much, you can scale down again with a few simple clicks. In our upcoming articles, I will show you how easy it is to create VMs and Containers and scale resources up and down.


Cloud providers offer advanced security features, including encryption, identity management, and regular security updates. Many cloud providers comply with industry standards and regulations, ensuring data security and privacy.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

The following are the disadvantages or risks of using Cloud Computing.

Loss of Cloud Data and Services

Data in the cloud and services are typically accessed over the Internet. Without an internet connection, accessing the cloud is impossible. The speed at which you can access these services and data depends on your internet connection speed. If your connection to the Internet is lost, your access to cloud data and services is also lost.

The servers or network at the cloud service provider’s end can also go down for a number of reasons. Again, when this happens, you lose access to cloud data and services. However, the good news is that cloud service providers have SLAs, i.e., Service Level Agreements. Most of the cloud providers guarantee 99.9% uptime. If they fail to meet this SLA, you will be compensated.


When using cloud computing, it’s crucial to consider the potential for downtime. The servers or network at the cloud service provider’s end may experience issues such as power failures, weak internet connectivity, or service maintenance, resulting in losing access to your cloud data and services. However, cloud service providers offer Service Level Agreements (SLA), which guarantee 99.9% uptime. In the event that they don’t meet this agreement, you will receive compensation.

Performance Can Vary

When working in a cloud environment, your application runs on a server that provides resources to other businesses. If your tenant exhibits greedy behavior or experiences a DDOS attack, it could impact the performance of the shared resource.

Data Security

When you store your business, employees, and customer data in the cloud, you are placing your complete trust in the cloud service provider to secure and safeguard your data. Cloud service providers like Microsft Azure and Amazon Web Services invest lots of resources and money to implement and improve cloud security. But still, by placing your data in the cloud instead of in-house, you are opening up security risks.

Also, everyone, including hackers, knows that they will have access to huge amounts of data if they can hack into cloud service providers. So, as we speak, hundreds of thousands of cyber attacks are happening worldwide. If you look at the Bitdefender web page, you will see the real-time cyber threat map.

Real-time security threat map

Every second, every few milliseconds, there is an attempted cyber-attack. You can see the Time, Attack type, Attack country, and Target Country. So, the point that I am trying to make it clear is that by placing your data in the cloud, you are relying on the cloud provider to protect your data, and the fact is that your data is only as secure as your cloud service provider.

However, best practices like encryption, two-factor authentication, auditing, reviewing and rotating access keys and credentials can reduce the security risk to some extent.

Compliance and Legal Risks

Compliance is another important risk that must be considered when moving to the cloud. You don’t have to worry about compliance and legal risks if it’s your personal data, like emails or photos. However, if it’s an organization that deals with financial data, healthcare data, credit card data, or any regulated data, for that matter, by law, the organization is responsible for protecting that data. It also needs to know where the data is stored, who is allowed to access it, and the measures to protect it. Many local and international regulations exist, such as GDPR, HIPAA, etc.

Cost Concerns

Cloud computing, in general, reduces upfront infrastructure costs, and its pay-as-you-go model provides more flexibility. Depending on the traffic, the amount of cloud resources you consume, the plan you have chosen, and the way you scale resources up and down, the overall price you pay will determine. Sometimes, this overall price tag may be higher than what you anticipated.

Cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform provide cost calculators. So, using these calculators to understand what you will be paying is a good idea. You may also experiment with different options and plans until you find what works best.

Several things can be done to reduce your cloud costs. For example, if you think performance will be an issue, you can always auto-scale up resources based on certain pre-configured threshold limits. Don’t forget to auto-scale down as well; otherwise, you will end up paying for resources that are not being used. Along the same lines, automate the process of starting or stopping your server instances. This ensures you are not paying when you are not using them. 

Looking at the advantages and disadvantages, Cloud Computing is the fastest-growing sector of network-based computing. This technology benefits customers of all sizes, including individual users, developers, large enterprises, and various organizations. It’s safe to say that Cloud Computing is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

In the next article, I will discuss Public Cloud in detail. In this article, I try to explain the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, and I hope you enjoy this article.

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