Should Google Outage Cause Change in Cloud Computing Strategy?

Google suffered an outage this week that left 14% of their users headed to sites in China rather than the US. As such, a traffic jam between the US & Asia ensued. Google’s SVP of Operations posted an update to their blog:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/this-is-your-pilot-speaking-now-about.html

The larger question (and one many are asking) is: Should this cause a change to your cloud strategy? The short answer should be no. However, if you’re asking this question, then the immediate question is probably yes. Let me explain…

Many view leveraging of cloud services as a panacea away from the binds of traditional methods. While that is true, there are differences. One difference is how your providers deliver services vs. traditional methods. In your own facility, you would consider redundant options for critical services. Leveraging cloud-based services is no different. However, the redundancy needs to move up the stack. Instead of simply looking at redundancy at the infrastructure layer, redundancy needs to happen at the provider layer. This is a change from the traditional model where you are the provider.

In summary, if your cloud strategy takes into account redundancy across providers, then your strategy does not need to change. An outage at one provider does not significantly impact services to users. However, if services are delivered from a single provider, then yes, your strategy should probably change.

Tim Crawford is ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Chief Information Technology Officers (#4), Top 100 Most Social CIOs (#7), Top 20 People Most Retweeted by IT Leaders (#5) and Top 100 Cloud Experts and Influencers. Tim is a strategic CIO & advisor that works with large global enterprise organizations across a number of industries including financial services, healthcare, major airlines and high-tech. Tim’s work differentiates and catapults organizations in transformative ways through the use of technology as a strategic lever. Tim takes a provocative, but pragmatic approach to the intersection of business and technology. Tim is an internationally renowned CIO thought leader including Digital Transformation, Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT). Tim has served as CIO and other senior IT roles with global organizations such as Konica Minolta/ All Covered, Stanford University, Knight-Ridder, Philips Electronics and National Semiconductor. Tim is also the host of the CIO In The Know (CIOitk) podcast. CIOitk is a weekly podcast that interviews CIOs on the top issues facing CIOs today. Tim holds an MBA in International Business with Honors from Golden Gate University Ageno School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Golden Gate University.

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