Cloud Computing Reliability

How Reliable is Cloud Computing?

The recent downtime experienced by Amazon E3 and Microsoft BPOS has created quite a buzz about the stability of cloud computing. Lauren Carlson even wrote an article about the reliability of cloud computing. I think we should all expect to see bumps along the way – it’s a natural part of the cloud computing process.

This downtime article on cloud computing reliability made me think about an event I experienced back in the early days of my career. There was a catastrophic failure in an ERP system (this was 1993) and the backup had hung 5 days earlier. It was right before the Thanksgiving holiday and I was on my way out of town (that didn’t happen). The company I worked for was tenting the building for termites (taking advantage of the long time off), so I had to be out within an hour. I tucked the server under my arm and headed home to spend many sleepless hours to try and get the server back to a running state. We ended up losing data, and about a week of “up time.”

It was an awful experience – and it is one of the reasons why I love cloud computing. Very seldom does anyone talk about a singular company’s downtime, but it’s all over internet media when big cloud computing providers go down. I actually think this transparency is a great thing. It’s going to force cloud computing providers to do everything better. It’s not a reason to run back to on-premise solutions, however. That’s pain from the past I’d just as soon forget.

What are your thoughts on cloud computing reliability? Please share your comments with me.

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