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Who ya gonna call when your cloud evaporates?

Steve Hodgkinson | Aug. 18, 2008
Are the recent service outages by cloud computing and SaaS providers reason to doubt the future of cloud computing? We think not, but you should plan for occasional dry spells.

While you rely on the electric utility, it is still prudent to keep a torch, candle and matches somewhere where you can find them in the dark

We know that the electric utilities occasionally fail despite over a hundred years of engineering development and refinement. We also know that when the power is out we are usually not the only one affected. We light our candles or fire up the generator, and wait. There is little point in calling the service centre when a whole city block is dark.

The lesson to take out of events like an outage of Amazon S3s online storage is not that the cloud is untrustworthy, but rather that you should have put in place some redundancy yourself such as or another third-party online storage service.

We are just at the start of learning about the extent to which we can, or should, depend on a universal computing utility like the cloud and what we should do when it evaporates. In the mean time, keep the torch handy.

Steve Hodgkinson is a research director in government at Ovum


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