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Lightning Strike KOs Amazon, Microsoft EuroClouds 189

1sockchuck writes "A lightning strike has caused power outages at the major cloud computing data hubs for Amazon and Microsoft in Dublin, Ireland. The incident has caused downtime for many sites using Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform and Microsoft's BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite)."
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Lightning Strike KOs Amazon, Microsoft EuroClouds

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  • My Sympathies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smpoole7 ( 1467717 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @11:08PM (#37018896) Homepage

    Considering that my radio stations have been getting hammered for weeks now by this horrible weather in the Southern United States, my sympathies are with them.

    I don't care how much protection you put on your system (and when you have giant lightning rods that are hundreds of feet tall, like we do, you DO try to protect things), an occasional strike is going to slip through. When it does it can get ... messy. :)

  • Cloud fail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Sunday August 07, 2011 @11:20PM (#37018948)

    My understanding of the point of cloud computing was that it would be distributed. I.e. the failure of any one data or computing center would mean the data was still available. Hence, the term "cloud": nebulous, non-localized. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Microsoft and Amazon what the buzzwords they were using actually mean. I more or less expected that of M$, but the fact that Amazon failed too, well, thats pretty a little surprising. I guess it's kinda the norm for all large corporations.

    Glancing at the article, it looks like this outage effected only a certain area, but still, cloud should mean other data centers would take over. I particularly love the quote "Dublin has become a key cloud computing gateway." If one city serves as a "gateway", its not a cloud system. I understand using it as one data center, but others should take over automatically for that area in case of a failure. If you don't have a failover system, you don't have a real cloud computing platform. You have a wannabe cloud computing platform. Or maybe they are just taking a buzzword and redefining it to suit their purposes. That's... exactly what we should expect, I suppose.

    Or am I completely misunderstanding the meaning of this latest buzzword? It's quite possible, I never quite got down what "Web 2.0" was supposed to mean either. Beyond lots and lots of Flash.

  • Re:Cloud fail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wolfling1 ( 1808594 ) on Monday August 08, 2011 @12:26AM (#37019212) Journal
    Ah, yes. There is that.

    At the moment, my company is aggressively encouraging our customers to avoid the Cloud at all costs. Let me explain why.

    Whilst the technology exists for the cloud to deliver fault tolerant distributed storage, when you choose to put data in the cloud, you are choosing to relinquish control of the data. You are placing it in the hands of someone else. Quite probably an organisation that you do not know intimately. Quite probably an organisation that is based in a different legislative region - probably another country.

    You have little to no capacity to audit their system. You have little to no capacity to test their fault tolerance. And here's the sucker punch - you have little to no legal comeback for the consequences if something bad happens.

    If your data contains any personal information about another person, you are placing the privacy of that person in the hands of an organisation you do not control, and upon whom you cannot enforce any legislative restrictions.

    So, unless you are seriously geared up to investigate and audit your prospective cloud provider - and they are willing for you to do so, the only data you can safely put in the cloud is data that would be basically irrelevant to your core business anyway. Until the fundamental issues of privacy, security and accountability are resolved - or dramatically improved - placing core business data in the Cloud is a massive corporate risk.

    They should not have called it the 'Cloud'. They should have called it the 'Arse' - because if your management are planning to stick their heads in one, they may as well stick their heads up the other. I don't imagine that 'Arse Computing' would be as popular though.
  • marketing bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday August 08, 2011 @04:20AM (#37019914) Homepage Journal

    And there is the marketing bullshit revealed. All the promises of the cloud - down by one lightning strike.

    Because, let's face it, the whole "cloud" thing as they sell it is just advanced virtual hosting with a different name. The only real cloud capabilities are those the big companies build for themselves, and they did things like that 10 years ago already, when nobody had ever heard the term "cloud" used in computing contexts.

    In the end, it's about selling something to people who already have the older version and convincing them to buy the new one. So you give it a different name because a "new" product sells easier than the upgraded version of an "old" product.

    Anyone remember when "Web 2.0" was all the hype? It really wasn't a 2.0 as we all know. There was nothing new in it, all components had been around for a long time. It was a conceptual bundle, but not a new version like the name suggested.But "we're doing more Javascript" now doesn't sell nearly as good as "we're moving to Web 2.0 now".

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas