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Cloud Computing: When It Rains, It Pours

(Edward F. Moltzen, Samara Lynn, ChannelWeb) Cloud computing is the next big thing, or current big thing, in information technology. It's fast. It's cheap. It's easy. It works. What could possibly go wrong? Let's be clear: Don't expect "the cloud" to provide five-nines of availability and don't expect it to be the default solution for those wanting cost-competitiveness. Expect the unexpected.

Before stopping to count all the profit you or a customer could make by deploying a cloud-based solution, consider that just one outage for the span of a few hours could eat up a measurable piece of a company's profit for a quarter. Could never happen, right? It did, though. On July 20, 2008, suffered a catastrophic outage in its S3-hosted storage business. While Amazon managed to get the service up and running in several hours, and the event is now just a blur to many, it impacted thousands of businesses and individuals who had gone to S3 as a convenient, cost-effective way to store lots of data easily.

And, over the past several months, search and online advertising giant Google has suffered notable outages in its Gmail and Google News offerings - outages that the company has left largely unexplained.

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