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  • #978939
    Uncomplicating
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    I like the concept of The Cloud, and I even like practice for the most part too. But it’s long way from being a technology that I’d want to bet the farm on just yet. There are still too many ways in which it can fail.

    Consider this little gem from the other day.

    If the big boys with budgets the size of the GDP of a small African nation can’t get it right, what hope the not so big or wealthy?

    As ever it behoves us all to be aware of how many baskets we allocate to the carrying of our eggs and perhaps consider that one is perhaps too few.

    #1110839
    JohnTranter
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    Uncomplicating, post: 123321 wrote:
    As ever it behoves us all to be aware of how many baskets we allocate to the carrying of our eggs and perhaps consider that one is perhaps too few.

    I thought software developers were famous for putting all their eggs in one basket, then making sure that basket is very, very safe. ;)

    #1110840
    Cjay
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    Business is quietly waiting right now for this to mature. Fast access and certified high quality encryption would make the world of finance just that little bit easier.

    #1110841
    Divert To Mobile
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    There is a lot to be said about testing the effectiveness of your DR strategies

    Steve

    #1110842
    Uncomplicating
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    JohnTranter, post: 123326 wrote:
    I thought software developers were famous for putting all their eggs in one basket, then making sure that basket is very, very safe. ;)

    They’re big fans of blind faith too I find

    Still, we’re not all created equally. Some of us enjoy a little pragmatism

    #1110843
    websitedesigner
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    I don’t really get the constant spreading of fear around cloud technologies. You think people are better having their stuff on their own computers? For every story of a server going down and people losing data there would be 100 for local computers crashing from storms, hard drives crashing and not being backed up etc.

    #1110844
    John C.
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    Unfortunately for many small businesses, many people will read a story such as this one and instead of thinking that it’s vital to have a backup and DR plan in place whether they use a Cloud solution or not, they will come to the conclusion that “The Cloud” is not safe and going back to having only one copy of their data “safe” on the desktop computer sitting under the receptionist’s desk is a much better situation to be in.

    The reality is that a natural disaster that killed 8 people and caused millions of dollars of damage only cased a brief (0.09% downtime for the year) outage to a handful of recreational services which were fully recovered quite easily within 8 hours. To replicate the capabilities and DR of the Amazon service in a non-cloud way would cost millions of dollars.

    I’m not saying that a Cloud solution is for every organisation, but it’s important to have some perspective when evaluating what’s right for you and comparing it to what’s reported by sensational journalists.

    Cheers,
    John

    #1110845
    John Debrincat
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    Uncomplicating, post: 123321 wrote:
    I like the concept of The Cloud, and I even like practice for the most part too. But it’s long way from being a technology that I’d want to bet the farm on just yet. There are still too many ways in which it can fail.

    Consider this little gem from the other day.

    If the big boys with budgets the size of the GDP of a small African nation can’t get it right, what hope the not so big or wealthy?

    As ever it behoves us all to be aware of how many baskets we allocate to the carrying of our eggs and perhaps consider that one is perhaps too few.


    @Uncomplicating
    this is not really a true refection of where “Cloud” is at, either here in Australia or, worldwide. Data centre integrity and security is an issue that has become more mainstream media due to our reliance on the internet and, yes, “Cloud” computing. There is not much you do on a daily basis that does not ultimately involve a data centre somewhere. The vast majority of the population probably are not aware or don’t care. Data centres also talk to each other and a failure at one can often lead to a downstream lapse in some service or other be it an ATM, a website or a mobile, pretty much everything is connected.

    Freak weather conditions, even sun spots and flares, have played havoc with data centres and communication since the beginnings of the information age. In the past I have seen data centres flooded, we lost Asian internet access because someone dropped an anchor in the Java Straits, a farmer ripped up an optic cable causing communication between NSW and VIC to be severely limited. You name it and it has probably happened. None of this has anything to do with the capabilities and maturity of the underlying technology.

    The other comment I hear sometimes is “but we don’t know where our data is being stored”. My answer, “get over it”, you have no idea where your information is stored now. People buy from overseas websites, even some claiming to be Australian, guess what the information might be in China, USA, Turkey, who knows. Most people have no idea where their personal and financial information is stored and probably don’t really care. Should they? Well that is a different issue.

    Cloud is here to stay in one form or another.

    #1110846
    Uncomplicating
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    websitedesigner, post: 123392 wrote:
    I don’t really get the constant spreading of fear around cloud technologies. You think people are better having their stuff on their own computers? For every story of a server going down and people losing data there would be 100 for local computers crashing from storms, hard drives crashing and not being backed up etc.

    Perhaps I’m not being plain enough in what I write, so just in case it was too complicated, here’s a precis.

    I quite like the cloud but I wouldn’t like my business to rely on it.
    A big player in the cloud market was down for six hours, which is a lot if you are dependent on it.
    Probably best to make sure you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

    So then, nothing to do with “constant spreading of fear”, and only something to do with “having their stuff on their own computers” by inference.

    What I wrote simply highlighted that The Cloud is not the be all an end all, is still a maturing technology and is most certainly not a silver bullet. And yet, I keep hearing how businesses are doing or going to do everything in The Cloud without so much as a consideration for redundancy, disaster recovery or what the beep they’ll do should a digger go through a phone line or two.

    My recommendation as always with any tool is to use it appropriately. Clearly with The Cloud that will depend on individual requirements. My own personal approach is to store locally, backup locally and backup to The Cloud as well.

    I was without a PC internet connection for 6 days a couple of years ago because someone let several thousand litres of water in to some electronics. This is a sobering experience if you actually NEED it to go about your daily business.

    While that is of course a rarity, it’s still noteworthy, because these things do actually happen. Even if we look at the norm, statistically speaking, if a Cloud provider promises 99.9% up time, that’s still a potential 87.6 hours down time in a year. That’s 10 working days.

    My aim as always is to inform people of reality, to help them understand the practicalities of their situation and thus to help them make informed decisions, rather than jumping on the next bandwagon that comes rolling by.

    It’s what we long in the tooth computer professionals do because we recognise that despite the technological advances of the last 25 years, people and business are still trying to solve exactly the same problems they were trying to solve when I started in the industry.

    #1110847
    Uncomplicating
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    John Debrincat, post: 123405 wrote:
    @Uncomplicating this is not really a true refection of where “Cloud” is at, either here in Australia or, worldwide. Data centre integrity and security is an issue that has become more mainstream media due to our reliance on the internet and, yes, “Cloud” computing. There is not much you do on a daily basis that does not ultimately involve a data centre somewhere. The vast majority of the population probably are not aware or don’t care. Data centres also talk to each other and a failure at one can often lead to a downstream lapse in some service or other be it an ATM, a website or a mobile, pretty much everything is connected.

    Freak weather conditions, even sun spots and flares, have played havoc with data centres and communication since the beginnings of the information age. In the past I have seen data centres flooded, we lost Asian internet access because someone dropped an anchor in the Java Straits, a farmer ripped up an optic cable causing communication between NSW and VIC to be severely limited. You name it and it has probably happened. None of this has anything to do with the capabilities and maturity of the underlying technology.

    The other comment I hear sometimes is “but we don’t know where our data is being stored”. My answer, “get over it”, you have no idea where your information is stored now. People buy from overseas websites, even some claiming to be Australian, guess what the information might be in China, USA, Turkey, who knows. Most people have no idea where their personal and financial information is stored and probably don’t really care. Should they? Well that is a different issue.

    Cloud is here to stay in one form or another.

    I’d argue that it is a true reflection of where The Cloud is at for the simple reason that a Cloud service was can be down for several hours. Clearly it doesn’t happen everyday, but it does happen, and that’s an important thing IF!! your business depends on it.

    That said, I agree with the sentiment. Most people don’t care and don’t want to care. And you’re absolutely right about the data thing. People give their hard earned cash to the bank every month without a thought, because they trust the system. They’ll be the same with their data in due course.

    #1110848
    richardbrock
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    I think all the fear about the cloud is just that fear, there is very little grounds for concern. Like it or not the cloud is already part of our lives and will only increase in importance.

    All my emails are stored in the cloud, my main relationship with my bank is via the cloud and I store all my important documents in the cloud.

    I agree that there have been a few issues with Amazon in recent weeks; I find it hard to believe that any individual or small company could provide a better solution at competitive costs.

    While we want to ensure we can migrate these issues in the future, I believe in the cloud and cannot wait until more services more there.

    #1110849
    Uncomplicating
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    richardbrock, post: 123556 wrote:
    I think all the fear about the cloud is just that fear, there is very little grounds for concern. Like it or not the cloud is already part of our lives and will only increase in importance.

    All my emails are stored in the cloud, my main relationship with my bank is via the cloud and I store all my important documents in the cloud.

    I agree that there have been a few issues with Amazon in recent weeks; I find it hard to believe that any individual or small company could provide a better solution at competitive costs.

    While we want to ensure we can migrate these issues in the future, I believe in the cloud and cannot wait until more services more there.

    I’m the same as you, email in the cloud, banking and so on. So clearly, I like it too.

    My concern is for those with blind faith who MOVE their world to the cloud rather than using is it part of a wider strategy.

    #1110850
    John C.
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    Uncomplicating, post: 123565 wrote:
    I’m the same as you, email in the cloud, banking and so on. So clearly, I like it too.

    My concern is for those with blind faith who MOVE their world to the cloud rather than using is it part of a wider strategy.

    Blindly doing anything without determining whether it meets your requirements is obviously a bad thing, but I worry much less about people who have blindly moved their data to reputable cloud providers, than I do about people who blindly leave their data on a single computer with no backup and disaster recovery plan in place. At least the larger cloud service providers have backup, redundancy and DR plans in place at the data center, and although it may not be ideal for all people, it’s often better than the alternative that most people naively accept.

    The media has a vested interest in reporting stories that cause their customers to stop and listen. They do this by playing to our fears and deepest desires. Hearing about a large “Cloud” service like Amazon being down for 8 hours, and impacting on Netflix etc is newsworthy. Reporting that thousands of hard drives fail every day is not newsworthy, so the first time many people realise that hard drives fail routinely, is the day that THEIR hard drive fails.

    Above everything else I think it’s important to remember that the word “Cloud” doesn’t actually mean anything when it’s used by marketing departments and the media. Each individual cloud service needs to be evaluated on it’s merits – some, like DropBox, result in multiple copies of your data so that even if DropBox were to shutdown it’s service tomorrow, most customers will have a full copy of their data on their local computer. Other cloud services, like Hosted Email, are susceptible to an outage at the data center, obviously, but a company housing it’s own Email server is just as susceptible to an outage of it’s local internet connection or a failure of local server.

    Cheers,
    John

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