This is one big problem with cloud computing

Cloud computing offers a number of advantages: access your data from anywhere, off site backups—just to name two. What happens, though, when real clouds produce storms? Is your cloud computing safe?

On Friday of last week, a lot of Internet users found out the answer the hard way when Amazon’s web servers went down due to a power outage. Amazon offers web servers as a service, and big names like Netflix and Instagram use them. Could you imagine the stress of a lawyer who has a brief due in a federal court of appeals and whose cloud computing provider uses Amazon’s—or anyone else’s—servers if those servers go “bloop” and stop responding? Better get that motion for leave to file instanter prepared… In all fairness, this incident was probably one of those “one in a million” events. Still, it happened.

This unfortunate event at Amazon is a good lesson in choosing a cloud computing provider wisely. Does the provider’s server system have co-location, so that if the power goes out at one server farm, other server farms are still up and running? Be sure to ask your cloud computing provider this question. Disaster at a server farm never strikes at a good time, but when it happens at a bad time you don’t need that kind of stress.

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