At some point the cloud services will be as reliable at the electricity into our homes and offices. But I remember as a child in the UK in the winter expecting to have power cuts. We took candles and matches or flashlights to bed. Wood was stockpiled to burn to heat the house. Now, that is unheard of. Ironically, as I write this the local electricity company Pacific Gas and electric (PG&E) have cut the power for planned maintenance work from 9:30am to 5:30pm. No electricity means no fridge, cooker, internet, telephone, music. Luckily my laptop is fully charged and my smartphone has a signal. But I can always fall back to the trusty pen and paper.
So it was interesting today to read that Amazon’s EC2 cloud crashed overnight. Twitter this morning was a blaze with “disruption to FourSquare “ For me it was a welcome relief not to have postings to tell me “Peter James has just gone into Victoria’s Secret in Las Vegas” or “Robert has checked into Marriott, London”.
But there are number of applications that run on the Amazon Cloud, probably snuck in without the knowledge, support or blessing of the CIO or IT Department, and have become core applications inside corporations. These I have been calling The Stealth Cloud.
If the CIO has no knowledge of these apps, there is no backup or contingency plan. No work around. So how do corporations assess the risk or impact of an outage? Will it simply mean that an internal department is less productive, or will it hit your customers? Does that cloud app have customer data, support cases, order data or financial information? When it comes back on line what are the processes for re-entering the backlog of data you’ve amassed manually whilst it wasn’t available.
Suddenly (possibly) the business can now understand the value of all those boring, laborious activities which IT does behind the scenes. The vendor assessments. The contingency planning. The backup, DR and restore processes. The things you don’t miss until they’re gone.
To see a list of some of the apps that suffered read the blog Amazon’s Cloud Crashed Overnight, And Brought Several Companies That Rely On It Down Too