We have a number of recognized transmission and distribution experts serving on our board of "Grid Masters." Several times each month we’ll post what we judge to be the toughest questions that also have high interest to our readers. At least one of our experts will respond. Want to challenge our Grid Masters for a chance to win?

Q: What are the pros and cons as well as risks in using cloud services instead of own computer systems especially regarding to network management applications?

A: The IT industry has not settled on the final answer but the clear trend is to go to cloud services. The basic driver is optimizing (i.e. maximizing) the utilization of the data center IT infrastructures (servers, switches, memory, etc). As to the pros and cons/risk of the cloud one can list the following factors:

Pros: Maximizing the IT services and IT-related assets and asset utilization; sharing the large volumes of data and better access to data for large number of users; structured, planned and comprehensive disaster recovery, data backup, higher reliability under normal operating conditions, better security and safety of data (against cyber attacks)

Cons/risks: Cloud does not work if there is no connectivity to internet/intranet; cloud is still in the earlier stage of deployment compared with the dedicated computer systems (discrete computing devices); larger (enterprise) clouds are targets of more sophisticated cyber attacks due to the higher potential impact and consequences of the attack.

Dr. Mietek Glinkowski, P.E.
Global Head of Technology
ABB Inc.

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