Certainly, last week's Great Blogger Outage of 2011 was not a good thing for Google. The company was still riding the wave of momentum from its annual I/O developer's conference when the Blogger site not only went down but also forced the company to take down some posts and comments in an around-the-clock effort to fix it.
Everything is pretty much back to normal again and all of the proper apologies and promises to keep this from happening again have been offered. But what are the long-term impacts of this outage? What does it say about Google's ability to maintain always-on access to other cloud applications, such as those it's trying to introduce to big companies, schools and even the government, when it experiences an all-day widespread outage on one of its earliest cloud platforms?
Sure, this particular outage didn't impact those business-centric apps that Google is pitching as part of its business suites. But it could have. It still could. Anything's possible, right? ZDNet colleague Ed Bott was right on the money when he suggested that the Blogger outage makes the case against a cloud-only strategy for businesses.
As much as I'm an advocate for cloud computing - both for businesses and consumers - I also recognize that going all in on a cloud strategy is not necessarily the smartest move, either. There are just some files and documents that you'll want to store locally and others that are just fine for the cloud.
The photos I've snapped with my smartphone, for example, are stored locally on the phone's SD card - but they're also automatically backed up to my SugarSync account, which is also backing up the pics in the Photos folder on our home computer. Now, if the drive on the home PC crashes (it's happened) or if I fry my SD card when I drop my phone in a puddle, they're backed up. And in some instances, such as showing off favorite pics, I use the SugarSync app instead of the album from the SD card, making that one the "backup" instead.
The point is that while last week's Blogger outage was an inconvenience, it shouldn't sour anyone - businesses or consumers - on a possible cloud play. The costs savings are definitely there. The ability to access data from number of devices from any location increases productivity. And the security has only become better.
The cloud is still a strong contender as businesses try to run leaner and more efficiently. To imply that an outage on Blogger alone is reason enough to re-think or abandon plans for a cloud strategy is just plain silly.