Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Is Your Head (Lost) In The Cloud?

Google's recent unscheduled downtime came at a good point, perhaps, with so many technology promoters urging us all to hurry up into the Cloud for all our computing needs.

PC World reported that the May 14th outage "left 14 percent of its user base without Google's wide variety of online services for a few hours." PC World's story was accompanied by this graph of North American Web traffic that day, from an Internet security company, Arbor Networks, which tells the story in concise and dramatic fashion.
Google said, in one of their blogs, it was the result of a simple traffic jam at a data center. Oh, that's really reassuring. What if it had been the dirty work of some of those cyber-crooks, who decided to put their botnets to work on taking down or compromising the All-Seeing Eye? How long might it have taken them to get all their services back in operation then?

"Ultimately, the outage was a fixable error and the Internet didn't come crashing down because of it," PC World said, but asked, "Just how smart is it to depend on a company to store all your data online?"

Cloud computing is a natural development of the technological path we're on, and of course it has many benefits, like being able to get at your information from anywhere there's an Internet connection. My point is just this: don't over-depend on it.

Do not assume that what you upload to any brand of cloud formation will necessarily be there when you next look for it — like the young lady I knew whose emails, years' worth, disappeared one day from Hotmail, never to be seen again.

When it's crunch time, especially with free services, host companies have oft responded by saying, Gee, sorry, there's nothing we can do about that now — but you know, it is a free service. (Implying about their own no-cost, no-guarantee offerings that YGWYPF: You Get What You Pay For.)

So, okay, these services can be highly useful. Just don't forget, in a tenet from the earliest days of computing: Back It Up!

"Google Outage Lesson: Don't Get Stuck in a Cloud"
by Ian Paul, PC World
Related, here:
Crackberry Down!

"Baaack it up!" * (Before the Botnets get it)

Web-based apps vs. Verizon customer service

(P.S.: Appropriately, I got this message several times while trying to post this: "Could not contact Blogger.com. Saving and publishing may fail. Retrying...")

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