Keeping the Faith
These incidents haven't happened often enough for
companies to turn away completely. Accidents happen, and generally companies
have been forgiving. But how many incidents like this will it take for enterprises
to lose faith in the cloud? After all, as storage farms get up into the
thousands of nodes, the software and networking get very, very complicated-and the possibility of a breakdown becomes greater as
the I/O burdens get heavier.
Sajai Krishnan, CEO of ParaScale-a startup that makes software that connects siloed servers into cloud-type computing architectures using Red Hat Linux-told me that Amazon.com is doing "great" with its new service overall but that it has "undertaken a degree of difficulty even higher than what Google has done."
Krishnan continued, "Google has been pushing the envelope of technology, but everything is inside, so no one gets to see this. Amazon, on the other hand, is opening up their system for more general-use service so more people can use it. So the challenge they have undertaken is not a simple task."
These kinds of outages, frankly, don't surprise people because companies like Amazon.com and Google are pushing the envelope in terms of scale, Krishnan said. Accidents are going to happen, no matter what.
What people need to know is that you don't need to have a cloud that spans the globe to realize the benefits of it, Krishnan said.
"One of the key takeaways [from this event] is that you can get the economies of scale with much more deployment, without really have to take on the challenges of this kind of scale," Krishnan said. "The curve eventually starts flattening out in terms of benefits ... you really don't have to be Google- or Amazon-scale to realize the benefits [of the online storage service]."
Enterprises can even build their own IT system "clouds" by pooling resources and not have to worry about relying on an outside service to handle their business data.
Krishnan said he believes that over time we'll be seeing many more online service providers, but their offerings will be on a much smaller scale than the huge cloud services whose infrastructures might be beginning to crack under the strain of billions of transactions per day.