We’re Not Enthusiastic About “Cloud” Programs
Nor about anything Google
A customer recently asked why our programs don’t automatically store data for customers in “the cloud.”
TheFormTool’s customers can choose to store their forms, documents, data anywhere they want. After all, that’s pretty much the meaning of the possessive modifier, “their.”
Each storage method has advantages and drawbacks.
Local, as on your own computer, is probably weakest of all, largely because just the physical threats are huge. Loss, accident, mechanical failure. But the much-ballyhooed cyber threat can be handled pretty well with physical and digital firewalls, and adding solid backup procedures make a huge difference.
Internal servers can be one step more secure given the ability to invest in stronger safeguards. The biggest issue is often the failure to provide physical security. We’re reminded of a customer’s terminated employee who opened the coat closet and then dumped her soft drink on the server rack on her final way out of the office.
For several years we enjoyed our private rack in a small, local, extremely secure server farm. Great systems — redundancy of all the necessities (standby generators fueled by helicopters and cooling water from two in-building deep wells), electronic and human security, biometric access, five connections to the Internet backbone — all the bells and whistles. But the operation couldn’t scale and over time couldn’t compete. A pity.
We looked at Google but never got comfortable with the levels of intrusion practiced, all with the best intentions, of course. It seemed to us that Google allows customers to opt out of having their data shared with others, but Google’s internal data harvesting continues apace regardless.
We’ve settled on racks and boxes in secure “private clouds” that boast all the physical and digital security of the huge names but aren’t subject to the host’s intrusion for “good purposes.”