Should you trust your business to Google?

Should you trust your business to Google?

Summary: Can your company rely on cloud services and still stay in business?

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Or to any cloud services provider, for that matter?

I've watched the launch of Google Apps with a bit of a jaundiced eye. Reading all of the media coverage certainly makes it seem like it's all rainbows and unicorns in the Google Apps world. But little mention has been made of the datacenter crash that took Google's App Engine out of business a month ago  and just about everyone that has covered it, has glossed over the technical glitch that made Google-owned YouTube unavailable yesterday to an unknown percentage of its users.

Though Google quickly denied it, Fast Company  reported that the problem was actually caused by Internet traffic being diverted through China's firewall and having its rules applied to the traffic. Of course, everyone involved has categorically denied that, with the usual caveats in place.

This brings two thoughts to mind; the first is the simple ‘Can I trust my business to the public cloud?"  This should be part of any decision process that requires that critical parts of your line-of-business process to be pretty much completely out of your control.  The business model for the cloud is often a compelling one; perhaps though, it's time to add additional weight to the business continuity side of the equation.

The second takes on a far more science fiction aspect that some may consider far-fetched. The concept "of "Cyber Warfare" has been a staple of the genre for the last decade or two, and we've even seen some limited scale real-world problems, usually caused by malware and viruses run amuck.  But the actual idea that a national entity would "take on" a corporate entity in a game of cyber-brinksmanship now brings a whole new touch of reality to the entire concept. And as you make your business move to the cloud, you may now want to consider how to avoid becoming collateral damage in a battle of someone else's making.

Topics: Hardware, Cloud, Data Centers, Google, Security, Storage

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29 comments
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  • Do the initials N.F.W. mean anything to you?

    And what is to prevent Google from datamining my organization's data, to use for whatever purpose they so desire? Their "word"? Yea...right.
    IT_Guy_z
    • Add to that the fact that Google

      mentioned that the recent breach of their network was helped along by someone on the inside proves that their employees are no more trustworthy then the next guy's.
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • So Google ...

    ... why should I trust you with the heart of my operation? Why should I place my business and privacy almost entirely at your mercy? Because you say that you are good? Well that's enough for me! Sign me up! Ahh ... maybe not.
    P. Douglas
  • Common sense

    You don't entrust all your data to the cloud just like you don't entrust you data to a single system. It is a bit of a silly discussion IMHO. The cloud can play an important role in both data backup as well as accessibility from any location.

    If I can encrypt what I put in the cloud and have at least one more highly secure and reliable backup location, I might consider using the cloud, both for backup and remote data access purposes.
    Economister
    • You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

      ... as Inigo said ;) The cloud talked about here is much more than data - it is services, programs, etc. Think mainframe but on the internet.

      The discussion is not silly, it is deadly serious and of course it is not a zero/one proposition. Companies will have to carefully decide is certain parts of their/there IT business belong there/their.
      batpox
  • What is the cloud?

    I've been watching businesses host their applications in other peoples data centers for YEARS and on managed server setups as well. All of a sudden you change the server management scenario so that you can get on demand scaling and pay for it by the hour/second instead of having to have a new machine provisioned and amazingly it becomes this dangerous thing called the "cloud". Then you get article after article about "should you trust the cloud" "living in the cloud" "can you run a business in the cloud".

    Enough with this cloud crap already people.
    storm14k
    • Once the advertisers get there hands

      Once the advertisers get there hands on anything its toast. Off course "The Cloud " Is nothing more then an advertising buzz word. It sounds better then say, server farm?? lol
      Stan57
      • There, their

        You probably mean their "hands" as in "belonging to someone", rather than "there" as in "here and there".

        Unfortunately a very common misspelling.
        Economister
    • Cloud Crap

      Yes, I like the sound of that, because all this drivel regarding "the cloud" is simply crap.

      Let's put it in classic terms. Would you rather rent someone else's space or own your own? Would you feel best trusting yourself or trusting somebody you've never even shaken hands with? It's that simple folks.
      nikacat
  • The problem you need to eliminate is Microsoft, not Google.

    All of those PCs with bloated insecure OS and bloated insecure applications are a ticking time bomb.
    DonnieBoy
    • Buahahahahahaha, never going to happen.

      But then, even someone as limited as you should know that much.
      No_Ax_to_Grind
    • Oh My Goodness! LOL!

      a balanced and concise article pointing out some of the still unresolved shortcomings "of the cloud", and it's MS as the issue, not Google.

      You really [i]hate[/i] it when Google has it's problems laid out for all the world to see.

      No, Google is still Google's biggest problem.
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • RE: Should you trust your business to Google?

    No, not if you have any sensitive information that is essential to the way your business operates, which is pretty much every business. Google violates privacy policies and just wouldn't make good business sense to use them.
    Loverock Davidson
  • Your Own Pipe

    There's another piece of infrastructure that you should be able to put a lot of trust in if you're going to move a lot of stuff to the cloud: your own pipe/ISP, etc. Unless you're big enough to have redundant Internet connections with different providers, a failure at that point can leave you stranded in a heartbeat.
    dunraven
  • NO!

    Simple and short answer.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Look around your office, do you trust EVERYONE?

    Do you trust every person you work with? Does your CEO hand out all the companies financials to ALL employees? Does he send out copies of all job bids to EVERYONE?

    If not, why would you trust 13,000 (Google) or 60,000 (Microsoft) employees?
    No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Yes, I trust the cloud....

    About as much as I trust any other way of handling data.

    Why?! Because if I run my own server at home, the pipeline could go offline becuase of AT&T, the server could crash, the drive could melt. Any server, or any internet pipeline can go down, so what difference does it make if I'm running it through Google Apps?

    Fact is, I trust Google to keep their services running much more than I trust my hosting account or most any other provider.

    I've had Exchange and that's gone down before, I've used my email through my webhost and that's gone down before too.

    I'll continue using Google Apps because it's still more reliable than most any other option - even if it does stutter periodically.
    trance2tec
    • that is like giving away your locker keys to someone else

      I don't think you have a lot for others to loot. I wouldn't trust anyone,
      definitely online.
      --Ram--
      Ram U
  • RE: Should you trust your business to Google?

    No
    notme403@...
  • NO.

    Period. Especially Google.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion