When Information Technology departments evaluate potential uses of cloud computing for their organization, many of them quickly realize they no longer have the near omniscient visibility into the operations environment they have when hosting those same workloads inside their own premises.
Depending on the deployment model, details pertaining to the operational aspects of a cloud service provider might be abstracted from the customers using the provider’s services. For example, in the case of a public cloud service, customers accept a reduced level of transparency in order to get the benefits, namely potential reduced costs and increased business agility, from the economies of scale that subscription-based cost sharing arrangements can create.
Organizations try to manage this loss of transparency in different ways. Some customers I have talked to try to put a “right to audit” clause into the service level agreements they negotiate with their cloud providers. But I’m not sure this really provides the transparency they want, for at least a few reasons: