Cloud Business News Roundup March 14 – 20, 2011: The Risks of Cloud Computing

reddit down

This week in the cloud highlights risks related to the cloud. As many of us are being bought into believing that cloud computing is the answer to many business-related problems, especially in productivity and cost cutting departments, we smarten ourselves and learn along the way that cloud computing adoption is not without risks.

Let’s take the Reddit service outage as one major example of how cloud computing could fail you. Still an interesting debate among IT and social media people, Reddit, runs on Amazon cloud (Amazon Web Services – AWS,) was experiencing a 6-hour outage on March 18, 2011; that’s quite a long downtime for a reliable web service with millions of members such as Reddit.

So – who’s to blame: Amazon, the cloud or both? In my humble non-techie opinion, it’s the risk of trusting the cloud too much. Cloud computing is evolving rapidly, and with such rapid changes, it’s only logical to expect some hiccups along the way, in the form of service interruptions. It’s probably better for Reddit to have redundant backups at different locations, so when a cloud service down the backup system will go up.

Here are some more interesting updates from the web for the period of March 14 – 20, 2011:

The cloud = major technology disruption

How to get your business ready to adopt the cloud? According to HP’s new CEO, Leo Apotheker, the cloud is such a “major technology disruption” that he need to refocus the whole company around a cloud strategy. The real question is: Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Cloud companies deny cloud computing risks?

Here’s a good article to make us ponder about the risks related to cloud computing. The question: When major problems happen to a business adopting cloud computing, such as the lost of customers’ data hosted by a cloud vendor, who will be hold liable? The business or the cloud service providers? So far, no clear answer on this.

Cloud computing plays an important role in major disaster recovery

Regardless of all risks related to cloud computing adoption, one thing cloud computing excels is the ability to put your data backed up redundantly in the cloud, in multiple servers, in different geographical locations. The real case of the benefits of cloud backup is during the event of Japan earthquake and tsunami; businesses adopting the cloud are those that are recovering the fastest.

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  • For the same reason you wrote here that I’m still keeping a backup storage for my files – just in case I can’t access the clouds. You just feel helpless when these third party sites are down and having a safety net will save you from all those frustrations. Unless there’s a 99.99% uptime all the time service out there, I’ll have to hold on to the old way of doing things.

    • Ivan

      Ajeva,

      Exactly – that is probably for the best. The cloud is somewhat volatile right now and we couldn’t be sure enough not to have backups ready locally. The cloud, by nature, should offer 99.99% uptime guarantee, IMO. It should be more reliable than the rest.