Should you trust your business to Google?

Can your company rely on cloud services and still stay in business?
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

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.

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