Google goes down, questions about cloud computing arise

Google goes down, questions about cloud computing arise

Summary: On Thursday, a major outage affecting 14% of Google users caused widespread panic, and raised questions about cloud computing in general. This outage happened just when the US Goverment began discussing how cloud computing fits into their $78 billion IT budget for 2010.

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On Thursday, a major outage affecting 14% of Google users caused widespread panic, and raised questions about cloud computing in general. This outage happened just when the US Goverment began discussing how cloud computing fits into their $78 billion IT budget for 2010.

Running companies (and the Goverment for that matter) in the cloud is risky business. In theory it sounds interesting, but in reality you better know what you're getting into.

Before you decide to jump into the cloud, you should ask yourself some important questions:

1) When there are problems, are you comfortable knowing that you have no control? Your users will want to know what's going on, but you won't have an answer. Is that something that you can deal with?

2) If you ever want to switch providers, do you care that your information is going to be difficult to get out of the cloud? And even if you do, its remnants will likely saved on computers other than your own for a while?

3) Do you care that people you don't know have access to your data? True, they aren't likely to do anything with it, as they have probably signed some sort of agreement with the company hosting your data, but do you know that?

The cloud is an exciting, yet scary place still -- in my opinion, it's too early to adopt these services completely. What do you think? Leat's hear what you have to say in the TalkBack!

Topics: Virtualization, Cloud, Google, Hardware

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Talkback

7 comments
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  • Well, yes and no

    The problem is that the same issues can come up if you
    use any hosting service, including your own. It's just a
    matter of people who run it for you. I would wager that
    Google has better system administrators than I could
    afford to hire.

    When you're running a company you're never 100% sure
    because you hire people who know stuff you don't, and you
    have to trust them. It's a matter of risk management.
    jestempies
    • But

      Having said that, obviously I would not move a service
      that requires five nines (99.999%) uptime to the cloud
      that doesn't guarantee it.
      jestempies
    • Googles System/Application Administrator reqs are detailed....

      at <a href=http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/answer.py?answer=23594>here (Google System/Application administrator job description)</a>. It is an interesting experience to go through (even as a contractor).
      B.O.F.H.
  • In this day and age cloud computing for most big companies does not compute

    Plain and simple.

    Agreed, cloud computing is an option that has to start someplace, but in the same vein, get real.

    A company that wants to have reasonable responsibility for their own data cannot even think of getting into cloud computing. We are at least close to a decade before widespread cloud computing can be adopted by the general business community. Bandwidths have to increase massively, infrastructure and back up systems have to be cheap and integrated and security and reliability have to be at A+++ levels before its even going to be considered by a company with a brain.
    Cayble
  • RE: Google goes down, questions about cloud computing arise

    If you believe in Murfy's Law that says "If anything can go wrong, it will", I think no company should take this risk.
    http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-laws.html
    jamesboals90
  • Internal systems never go down, of course.

    Sheez.
    fr0thy2
  • Its half Full not half empty

    For what you pay (at GAE), try handling big spikes in requests on your own... not a chance. No you can't reboot Google at your whim, but if you need all those nines, you can't trust any one host anyway. Resource backups and sever redundancy will always be part of your plan. So stop your gloom and doom and use the cloud for what it's good for, and use your only-one-speed servers as a backup.
    natemorse