Cloud Computing vendor Lock-in is nothing new. But thorough examination reveals that vendor Lock-in is present in open standards too. Data Portability in the Cloud is hampered when Vendor Lock-in is applied. There are many points to consider on the issue Cloud Computing Lock-in, to consider. Mostly exploited Lock-in in the Cloud Computing Platforms can be seen in PaaS and SaaS. It is usually taken that, Cloud Computing vendor Lock-in will be absent in Free Software with GNU GPL License. Unfortunately, most are not actually Free Software but Open Source and dangerously sometimes GNU GPL is used for a part, violating the terms and conditions.
Cloud Computing vendor Lock-in is nothing new but not expected in Open Source Softwares too
How far is the way to a free flow of data is actually absent still can be seen in the example of groupware solutions in the cloud, in short Software as a Service or SaaS. At the technical level cloud offerings such as hosted Microsoft Exchange solutions are initially characterized by a lack of hardware and administrative or root access. Thus, many existing tools and scripts for data migration can not be used. There remain existing export and API interfaces of the respective solutions, however, they are usually not released any provider. From these smaller points, the Cloud Computing Vendor Lock-in starts, IMAP is sometimes present in free email inboxes, but also sometimes in business Hosted Exchange accounts, such as the e-mail retrieval with the current standard IMAP is disabled.
Furthermore, interfaces often allow access only to a subset of data. While so many groupware solutions offer the import and export contacts and calendar entries in the standard formats iCalendar and vCard – but important information can be lost, such as calendar sharing information. In addition, individual data fields in a mapping is required at the semantic level, particularly when data is to be exchanged between different systems.
But even if these obstacles are overcome, a smooth switching among the providers is not guaranteed. Users who want to copy more than two gigabytes per day from their Gmail account, are risking a 24-hour lock.
Cloud Computing Vendor Lock-in : Conclusion
The above examples show how diverse are the challenges in data acquisition in the cloud. Requirements increase, more demanding are the applications are becoming. This applies, for solutions that work with complex data as an e-mail and contacts, as well as mobile apps that restrict access to data often even further. Nevertheless, you have the pessimism of Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web. He had warned in view of the increasingly emerging “data silos” of a danger for the open Internet. A comprehensive access to your data is a key consideration for users’ confidence and is directly related to the cloud services, any vendor should be aware of. Users should take a critical turn when choosing a provider, whether an adequate level of data portability is guaranteed. SaaS at any cost must be avoided as warned by Free Software Foundation.
The key issues for data portability Contractual arrangements and Cloud Computing Vendor Lock-in :
- Are there any legal restrictions or additional costs that impede the retrieval of your data?
- Access limits and speed restrictions when data is retrieved : Is it possible to export the stored data in a reasonable amount of time?
- Availability of suitable interfaces and tools for exporting data: What is the cost to export the data?
- Scope and completeness of the exportable data and metadata: The data export all the essential information that is necessary for the proper Further work.
- Structure and format of the exported data: Is the export data in a standardized format and is possible to import into a new application is easily ?