Apple closed MobileMe June 30, moving its focus to iCloud. The same week, Google introduced new cloud services and two major cloud providers stumbled.
Apple's iCloud has officially succeeded its MobileMe
service, marking a cloud milestone.
The iPhone maker announced June 6, 2011, with the
introduction of iCloud, that June 30, 2012, would be MobileMe's last day. While
Apple has been sending
, reminding MobileMe users who had yet to take action that the
end was nigh, procrastinators who missed the deadline can download their Gallery
photos and iDisk files at me.com "for a limited time," Apple said on
Apple has invested significantly in iCloud. While it has
chosen to do away with Gallery, iDisk and iWeb publishing, iCloud otherwise includes
all the features of MobileMemost notably Contacts, Calendar and Mailplus a
number of new features, such as iTunes in the Cloud, Documents in the Cloud,
Photo Stream, and backup and restore capabilities, that contribute to the
definition of Apple today.
Introducing the free service, Steve Jobs had emphasized its
ability to keep all of one's Apple devices updated wirelessly and almost
instantly. "You don't even need to think about itit just works,"
iCloud has been a catalyst for new Apple data centers. Last
year, it completed a third center in Maiden, N.C., investing more than $500
million to make sure it could support the expected customer demand for iCloud.
In April Apple
after it was provoked by a Greenpeace report on the types of energy
powering data centers, or server farms, as they're commonly knownthat the
Maiden facility is the "greenest data center ever built" and that an
Oregon facility, planned for 2013, will run on 100 percent renewable energy.
Owners of data, from consumers to large enterprises, are
increasingly storing them in the cloud. Business consultancy Visiongain has
that the value of the global cloud market will reach nearly $38
billion by year's end and climb to $82.9 billion in 2016.
With all this borrowed storage space comes a certain amount
of trust on the part of the userand in the case of IT staffs and CIOs, a surrendering of some
controland heightened preparedness on the part of the provider. Still, the
occasional snafu is apparently unavoidable.
In 2009, T-Mobile and Microsoft offered profuse apologies
and a month's free T-Mobile service to T-Mobile Sidekick users who lost emails,
photos, contact information and more, after Microsoft subsidiary Danger
experienced a data center problem.
Much more recently, on June 28, Salesforce.com experienced
an outage that left some users unable to access the service. Two days later, a
lightning storm in Virginia took down part of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which
is used by hundreds of not-insubstantial companies.
New York Times
reported July 1 that "Netflix, Pinterest and
Instagram were inaccessible for hours. There was little information for
customers about what had happened, or even whether user data was safe."
From roughly 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. PST, Amazon worked to
restore service. At 12:30 a.m., it posted to its AWS Service Health Dashboard
have recovered the majority of RDS [relational database service] instances
impaired by the power outage and are down to the last few remaining. The power
outage caused storage failures for a subset of RDS instances and they are not
Should any frustrated users wish to defect, Google would be
happy to accommodate them. From the company's I/O developer's conference June
28, it introduced new capabilities for Google Drive and Internet-based services
at a steep discount from Amazon's.
In combination with its Chrome OS and Web-based apps, more
people are able to access their information from whatever device they're using.
Google said it calls this "going Google," and according to a blog
by Sundar Picahai, Google senior vice president of Chrome & Apps,
businesses large and small are going Google.
Wrote Picahai, "Sixty-six of the top 100
universities in the U.S., government institutions in 45 out of 50 U.S. states,
and a total of 5 million business are using Google Apps to live and work in the