Three Types of Cloud Lock-in

cloud lock-in typesYou probably have heard about the cloud lock-in issues when deciding whether you should bring your business to the cloud or not. This article will help you gain more insights on the types of cloud lock-in to help you make a well-informed decision in adopting cloud computing for your business.

First thing first: What is cloud lock-in, anyway?

You can read our previous blog post about cloud lock-in and how to avoid it, but here it goes again:

Cloud lock-in is a situation in which a cloud user or customer will experience issues when he or she decides to switch to another cloud vendor, due to the complexity of the switching process.

I mentioned about “issues” because, indeed, it is a real problem to have your business migrated from your current cloud service provider to a new one; the issues can be grouped in three cloud lock-in types.

3 types of cloud lock-in

I have found a great resource from about the types of cloud lock-in you need to consider when adopting the cloud. According to the resource, here are the three cloud lock-in issues:

1. Platform lock-in

Cloud vendors build their services on certain virtualization platforms (i.e. VMware and Xen.)

Virtualization allows you to use resources from a centralized tasks administration as you needed, without the need to manage any software/hardware yourself.

Migrating from a cloud provider using, for example, Xen to another cloud provider using VMware is a headache, simply due to the different virtualization platforms they use.

2. Data lock-in

When you use a cloud solution, your business data is entered into the cloud through the times. What if you decided to switch to another cloud solution provider? Will the data go with you? If so, are you sure that you can actually do so? What about the law? Your business data is on the cloud vendor’s database – are you sure you fully own the data?

Be sure to check this Cloud Computing Bill of Rights and see whether your cloud vendor is in compliance with the “law.”

3. Tools lock-in

This type of cloud lock-in is the most common one.

Different cloud vendors offer different kind of tools to customers. To avoid tool lock-in, you need to make sure that a cloud provider’s cloud provisioning and monitoring tools are “compatible” with different kinds of both physical and virtual infrastructure.

How to minimize the cloud lock-in

Again, I have written about this in my previous blog posts; the conclusion is, there is no answer to eliminate cloud lock-in. Moreover, cloud lock-in is only just one of many issues related to cloud computing. Some other issues, such as cloud security and privacy issues, also need to be considered.

What you need to do is to make a well-informed decision. You should know where you take your business to, and you should know the downsides of cloud computing. Getting prepared is the best way you can do – so get ready to benefit from cloud computing with the right mindset.

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