Real Cloud vs. Fake Cloud—How to Tell the Difference

Millions of organizations today rely on cloud applications and services for everything – from creating documents to storing data. While the cloud has transformed the business landscape considerably, it has also become incredibly complex. As a result, there is now a debate about real cloud vs. fake cloud, as well as free and paid online services used by hundreds of millions of users daily.

Consumers like us often store personal documents on the cloud and download music and movies. Most users of popular online services sync their email messages and address books on them (see Gmail, YMail, Hotmail, etc.) and store bookmarks (e.g., Delicious, FoxMarks). Consumers globally buy or download Android (Google Play), iOS (App Store) and other applications from the cloud. Nowadays, iPhone/iPad, Mac, and other operating systems (such as Ubuntu, Nokia, Chrome OS, Android and others) include free cloud accounts to backup photos, contacts, documents, bookmarks, calendars, and more.

Cloud-based solutions are the backbone for businesses that use them for various operations, such as payroll, time tracking, financial, CRM, and ERP systems. At its core, any cloud service is either Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Thus, not every cloud solution works in the same way or offers the same features.

What Is Cloud Computing?

According to IBM, “Cloud computing is on-demand access, via the internet, to computing resources—applications, servers (physical servers and virtual servers), data storage, development tools, networking capabilities, and more—hosted at a remote data center managed by a cloud services provider.” 

A cloud computing service is a way to deliver various computing services through the internet, including tools and applications like data storage, servers, analytics, databases, networking, business intelligence, and software. These services empower businesses to make smarter decisions. Cloud computing provides a scalable, customizable, and flexible solution that helps businesses develop, innovate, and support IT solutions.

cloud-computingIs Your Business Really Using the Cloud?

Now that we know what “Cloud” really means, what are its implications for users in general and businesses in particular? Companies worldwide are using cloud applications and migrating their existing systems to the cloud—but are they true cloud systems or merely pseudo-cloud? Many companies provide cloud-based business applications and timesheet solutions. As a result, organizations are onboarding legacy platforms, known in the industry as “hosting.” Moreover, many on-premise vendors are seeking ways to generate new revenue streams by “cloud-washing” their applications. 

As organizations move away from on-premise systems and rely on cloud solutions, they need to understand the key differences between the true and fake cloud. Let us understand how to determine whether or not your organization is getting all the benefits of a true cloud solution like Replicon. True and fake cloud solutions differ in several ways, as outlined below:

Real Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: Infrastructure 

True cloud is an environment that provides reliable and scalable application performance with Class 1 hardware and software. Replicon’s globally distributed tier-4 data centers assure full redundancy and failsafe protection in case of a catastrophic failure. Plus, Replicon’s infrastructure is designed to be secure, with environmentally controlled data centers that provide dependable data backup and disaster recovery.

Fake cloud systems are what you get when your business solution provider hosts an on-premise version of their software on hardware at a remote location. Unfortunately, this mechanism doesn’t offer any benefits or the reliability of a True Cloud implementation.

Real Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: Upgrades and Maintenance

A true cloud environment ensures free, automatic and frequent software upgrades that do not result in downtime or interruptions in operations. Hence, all your applications are continually updated with new functionalities and optimized for bugs.

Fake cloud providers blur the lines between true cloud systems and hosted solutions. They tout their fake cloud system by featuring the same advantages as the true cloud solutions providers. However, a fake cloud solution does not give you the benefits of regular, free and seamless updates because the hosting provider is usually not responsible for software upgrades.

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Real Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: Performance Monitoring

Replicon’s cloud infrastructure is monitored 24×7 and features redundancies at every level, as well as load-balancing and clustering technologies to ensure the ultimate reliability and uninterrupted service. In fact, our uptime regularly exceeds our guaranteed level of 99.5%!

Fake cloud-based time management solutions cannot offer you uninterrupted service or anywhere close to 99.5% uptime, as they are neither monitored around the clock nor have redundancies and clustering technologies such as Replicon’s cloud systems.

true-cloud-vs.-fake-cloudReal Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: Security and Compliance

Replicon cloud systems undergo annual SSAE 16 audits and feature SSL encryption, enterprise firewall technology and permission-based authentication for the safety and integrity of customers’ data. In order to meet geographic compliance requirements, our global infrastructure allows you to store data wherever you choose. In addition, our cloud-based solutions are compliant and have unmatched security protocols. 

Non-cloud solutions may offer SSL encryption or firewall technology but not much more to assure the integrity and confidentiality of valuable business data.

Real Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: Availability and Uptime 

A true cloud solution allows you to continuously fix bugs and keep your applications up-to-date without any downtime. A true cloud solution automatically integrates with other cloud and legacy software solutions upon any upgrade. True cloud solutions are designed to address rapid changes seamlessly. This functionality allows users to quickly expand their system as needed, while meeting the demands of remote and global workforces.

In a fake cloud, the availability is limited by the vendor. Using a fake cloud system, you will have potential warning updates and risk factors that occur periodically. Until your vendor schedules an upgrade, bugs and issues will remain pervasive, disrupting your operation with significant downtime and requiring additional training for your team.

Resolving this issue requires technical expertise or professional services automation services that can incorporate upgrades without disruptions and reduce downtime.

Real Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: Integration and Customization

A true cloud solution allows you to easily integrate on-premises and cloud solutions. It provides flexibility so that integrating with external systems is simple, seamless, and does not require additional effort. Furthermore, cloud-native platforms don’t require subscriptions for security updates, feature upgrades, or version changes. 

Hosted cloud solutions are not designed to ease integration and can be expensive to implement and maintain. Fake cloud platforms are not scalable and are not secure to use. Furthermore, since they do not offer open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), upgrading and patching are complex, time-consuming, and require downtime. 

Choose the Right Cloud Offering for Your Organization

Cloud computing is becoming a viable hosting and data storage option for businesses of all sizes. But, it’s important to realize that not all cloud computing services provide the same benefits. Hence, organizations must choose a true cloud solution that delivers business value, reduces cost, and helps them achieve their full business potential. In the long run, privately hosting your solutions or using fake cloud solutions will increase your long-term ownership costs, hinder your business’s growth, and can be detrimental to your business’s future success.

You need a natively built cloud-based time-tracking solution for high scalability, ease of integration, rapid implementation and seamless upgradeability. More than 1.5 million people from over 7,800 organizations across 80 countries rely on our award-winning cloud-based time-tracking solutions to better manage their time, projects, resources and expenses.

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Sathya Gajendran

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sathya Gajendran

Sathya is an Assistant Content Marketing Manager at Replicon. She is a tech enthusiast who loves to learn about new, emerging technologies. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.

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