Has public cloud computing changed your software buying habits?

Tajudeen Abubakr considers the changing software-buying habits of users who are beginning to dip into the cloud. Have yours changed? Take the poll.

Old habits die hard. Public cloud computing however is challenging the status quo when it comes to software and application consumption. There is a plethora of public cloud computing products and services dedicated to simplifying our daily computing experience, and you'll be hard pressed these days to find a traditional software vendor not offering a cloud or online software option to consumers. Most home and small business users will particularly find this promising. As an example, for privacy and information security, it means essential security applications/services such as antivirus, data backup and secure cloud storage are now just a cloud click away.

The prices tend to range from free to low-cost annual fees that consumers will find generally appealing to their wallets - all without necessarily sacrificing quality and delivery time.

Below are just two examples of data security cloud applications / services increasingly available to consumers.

Antivirus and online browsing protection

Panda Cloud Antivirus: This, without a doubt, is one of the easiest-to-use antivirus products for protecting your computer. Just install and leave it to do its job (while you get on with yours...). No need to worry about signature file updates and the like, as is prevalent among non-cloud antivirus products. It even has a central management console for multiple computers (although you have to pay for this feature, but well worth it if needed).

Cost: Free (Pro version and Business version are available at a cost)

Figure A

Panda console

Data backup and recovery

The importance of backing up your data can't be stressed enough. By using public cloud computing disk storage and backup services, this essential requirement for recovering from that "accidental" data loss is truly simplified. One such product / service that caught my attention is the Cloudberry Online Backup.

CloudBerry Online Backup provides a powerful Backup and Restore program designed to leverage cloud storage (e.g., Amazon S3), making your disaster recovery plan simple, reliable, and affordable.

With functionalities such as files/folder/block level backup, data compression, data encryption (AES-256), local and cloud storage location backup (supports most popular cloud storage such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google) and versioning, it ticks the right boxes for core data backup requirements. - You can even vote for new features you would like to add from their website.

Cost: From $29.00 for desktop backup

Figure B

Cloudberry features (click to enlarge)

Entry-level public cloud use

Just as music/video download has become the norm, thanks largely to high speed broadband, public cloud computing will leverage this medium to accelerate delivery of software, application and computing infrastructure as "services".

How much is public cloud computing influencing your own software buying habits? From gaming to serious business applications, do you find yourself thinking how much you'll save in time and cost if you opt for the cloud /online service? I do!


Tajudeen (Taj) Abubakr (CISSP, CISM, CISA, SABSA) is a certified information security manager with broad consulting experience in Security programmes delivery management, cloud computing, enterprise IS governance, risk & compliance (GRC). He is curre...


Cloud storage for my personal private files? Perhaps later, when the benefit outweighs the risk by a wider margin.


I don't trust it. Too obscure. It's bad enough that I work exclusively by email, but very good that I don't have to share anything with anyone except my customers (I'm a a freelance technical editor). I don't want my data in anyone else's servers. I make multiple backups on multiple devices at home. Take a few minutes every night, but it's worth it. Now I don't lose anything and I don't have to have an Internet connection to work -- except when I want to research specific points in the articles I edit.


I am in a country where unlimited internet just isn't available. I couldn't imagine using any of these services here when the only real benefit I see so far is 'look! I didn't have to transfer my stuff!' which is easy enough to do with a cable. Anything I'm missing?


Seriously, without that option, I can't even answer the poll...


but I don't have any stuff to transfer. I don't keep any digital entertainment files, so I don't care if I can access them away from the house. I have an MP3 player I use for podcasts of radio programs, and I upload those with a cable, and don't keep them after I've listened.


Our Chevy Cobalt will take both CDs & input from an MP3 player, but our Malibu doesn't. So, mostly we still rely on CDs for our music. As for "online" backup...while it might provide some help in terms of storing the files vs. keeping them on a CD, even the best cloud services can't guarantee 100% availability. Why? Because even assuming they could provide enough depth of backup (storage, power, Internet connection on their server side, etc.), they still can???t guarantee that [b]my[/b] Internet connection will also be working. So, at best, you???re looking at 99.9% uptime. On the other hand, for the minimal charge of blank DVDs (~$15 for a 100-pack), I can guarantee that my backups will be available 100% of the time, whether my Internet is working or not.

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