Google Talk, Azure and Twitter Outages: Is the cloud really reliable?

cloud outagesYesterday (Thursday) was a really bad day in the cloud. Touted as technology advance that will bring web service interruptions to an end, the cloud seems to be like the good old days of occasional service interruptions. As reported by InformationWeek, three major web services, Google Talk, Azure and Twitter, were experiencing outages in many parts of the world.

Google reported that Google Talk IM and video chat service was down in part of the US and the rest of the world; Twitter also went offline in some regions; Microsoft Azure was going out of service in Europe.

This cloud outage raised yet another question: Is the cloud really reliable?

Don’t get me wrong – I am a big fan of the cloud. I fav the possibilities cloud computing bring on the table, especially the fact that the cloud helps businesses with limited resources to access the resources that were only available to big companies with big IT budget. Now, you can use the same cloud solutions as those used by Fortune 500 companies. The technology is the same, and most cloud solutions offer similar plans regardless of your business sizes; indeed, your only difference is sizes.

However, the cloud woes I experienced in the past myself – along with the cloud outages news at least this month – makes me think: Is the cloud really makes IT services more reliable? So, why cloud vendors always pitched prospects with redundancies and such, and say that their services are “always on”?

I think that cloud vendors should not pitch potential clients with the “always on” pitch – the cloud outages we know today show that always on is rather impossible. Scalable, yes; pay as you go, yes; but always on? Nah, I don’t think so.

As a small business owner or IT decision maker, it’s your job to make sure you are signing up with the right cloud service provider. It’s also your job to assess which business functions and/or operations you should move to the cloud, and to know what to do when cloud disasters strike.

So, what’s your take? Should cloud vendors be more sensible in their marketing pitches so that they won’t mislead prospects? Should cloud clients do their due diligence better before signing up with any cloud vendors?

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  • Nice post. I agree whole heartedly that the cloud has benefits but it also has downtime. This week McAfee’s cloud based antispam solution – MX Logic had a full day outage rendering inbound email communications down for countless businesses.

    Network Solutions also had DNS problems which one of their techs said was possibly due to a denial of service attack making websites, email and countless other services off line.

    Another example this week was Comcaat in the Chicagland area had major complications with Internet service outages to a number of business in IL which would mean potential outages for reaching data in a cloud based server or other cloud services.

    It’s time for IT professionals to educate their bosses or clients on the fact that the cloud doesn’t always have a silver lining.

    Vince Arden

    • Ivan


      “It’s time for IT professionals to educate their bosses or clients on the fact that the cloud doesn’t always have a silver lining.” – this is a quotable quote! People often have false hope and expectations on the cloud – partly due to the misleading pitches by cloud service marketers, IMO…

      A tough job for IT pros, indeed…