The week in cloud: reports of a spy cloud from Amazon and lotsa outages

Amazon reportedly to build CIA secret cloud

Probably the biggest news of  the week was a Federal Computer Week report that public cloud leader Amazon(s amzn) is building a private cloud for the CIA. Citing unnamed sources, the story put the worth of the contract at about $600 million for 10 years. What was unclear — since no one is speaking officially — is if this completely separate from Amazon’s existing Govcloud, although that appears to be the thinking.
fingerprint secretAs the exec of one cloud competitor put it — this shows that Amazon will, for the right price, get into the private cloud business.
CIA spokespeople would not comment; Amazon did not respond to request for comment. Asked last week at GigaOM’s Structure Data event about the report, CIA CIO Ira “Gus” Hunt said he could not comment now but “maybe someday.”

A bad week for cloud-based services

Google Drive logoThe week started off rough for many Google Drive users who reported ttheir service was down. As Engadget put it, if there’s ever a time you don’t want your shared documents to go inoperable it’s Monday morning. There were additional intermittent troubles with the cloud storage system for two days.
On Wednesday, it was LinkedIn’s(s lnkd) turn to flake out. The professional social networking site was down for about 45 minutes over a two-hour period, according to InfoWorld.
Not to be an apologist for cloud services — God knows I was ticked off by the problems with Google Drive last week –but it helps to remember how many times on-premises applications go awry.
My last employer ran an email system from a huge vendor. And we had multiple multi-day outages every year. I’m sure the vendor (it’s in the great northwest and is now trying to forklift its users to cloud ) would probably blame the implementation, the on-site admin guys would beg to differ. Bottom line, however, was that the poor schmuck end-users couldn’t get their mail. Moral of the story? Technology can fall down no matter how it’s delivered.