Cloud computing has not yet taken over the server industry, and there are plenty who are resisting all attempts. Nevertheless, the usage of cloud services and hybrid cloud deployments has increased gradually, and anyone who uses dedicated servers and has some type of web presence should at least take a look at it.
One of the many concerns system administrators, security experts, and free software advocates have about cloud servers or software as a service (SaaS) is that the moment they move their data to the cloud, it is out of their hands and under the control of a third party. This is a valid concern.
Once another company controls the access to and delivery of your data, you are at the whims of their shareholders. The moment they decide to pull the plug on a project or (even worse) have their plug pulled by bankruptcy, government seizure, or any other unfortunate event, you may be left with nothing.
For cloud technologies that use free and open source software, it may be rudimentary to export data. For cloud services that use proprietary data formats and closed source software, you may have no way to convert data to a useable format when moving from one to another. For that reason, it is important to investigate the company’s policies and software user agreement ahead of time, before you possibly put yourself and your business in a compromising position.