Friday, August 15, 2008

Um, Just Who is Managing Your Public Cloud?


This article summarizes some of the recent bumps in public clouds. While these bumps are inevitable (and unenviable!) in the early stages of a new technology, they do shine the light on the management of the data center. And, as may be obvious, the people that lost their data in one case most likely have no recourse with the holders of that data. In the case of outages, "well, gee, so sorry" is a pretty weak excuse at the moment for problems in managing the public cloud.

My guess is that this will start a bit of a turn towards more conservative cloud management (that loose and free stuff looks good on paper) and that in turn may start to put a little pressure on prices or start to reduce the license/contractual assurances that current cloud providers make available.

Another thing worth noting here, Google and Amazon, two of the biggest cloud providers, have internal architectures that are designed with high availability in mind. These types of outages would not have affected their core operations, typically. However, most applications that are running in their clouds today were not architected for the same style of high availability.

Anyway, I'll continue to assert that issues like this will help foster the drive towards at least initially, private clouds, with a limited subset of workloads moving into the public clouds based on the type of workload.

It is going to be a bumpy take off into these clouds - fasten your seat belt and hope that the people getting sick along the way aren't on your plane...

BTW here are a couple of other links to recent glitches and failures such as the evaporating cloud or "oops, sorry we deleted your cloud". Some are Web 2.0, but a couple are effectively cloud computing providers which have had public failures - in large part because the data centers and applications were not designed for true high availability or had maintenance issues. And, the last of those links (thanks, Brian!) was just the typical human error problem. Even if you don't create your own cloud, you may well want to really know who is managing your cloud and how - at least until we have some higher end service level agreements available.

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