Why Humans are the Biggest Threat to Cloud Adoption

Around the world, organizations and individuals are coming together to tackle technological hurdles to cloud computing. Just this week, Intel launched its Open Data Center Alliance and Cloud Builders initiatives; last week, CloudAudit joined the Cloud Security Alliance. But when it comes down to it, people, not technology, might represent the biggest obstacle to selling cloud services and software.

Today in Cloud

This weekend brought another couple of Amazon EC2 outages.I wonder when users will be able to rely on cloud platforms for automatic failover to geographically separate servers without paying a premium for options like Availability Zones. “The cloud” connotes a certain degree of flexibility and global scale that doesn’t fit with running apps in a single data center only. The technology is beginning to emerge already, but will providers bake in these capabilities when it’s feasible to do so?

WordPress Outage Takes Us and 10.2M Blogs Out for 2 Hours

As we’re hosted on WordPress.com, we were affected by an outage of their network of blogs today that’s been attributed to a core router change. The company’s 10.2 million hosted blogs were down for 110 minutes, for a projected page view loss of 5.5 million.

Like AT&T, O2 Feels the Strain, but Doesn’t Whine About iPhone Customers

Shortly before Christmas, my iPhone started misbehaving. I’d get an odd little notification message popping up on the screen telling me it “Could not activate cellular data network.” Despite not usually getting odd little errors on the iPhone, I didn’t worry too much about it. After all, I assumed, it is the holiday season; people are calling family and friends more than at any other time (well, except, perhaps, for New Year’s Eve). I just assumed it would right itself.

24 hours later it was still misbehaving, but by that time I’d finally snapped and decided to look into it. A call to O2 resulted in a recorded message that was played before the usual welcome message; “We are experiencing some difficulties,” an overly sympathetic voice cooed, “We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this might have caused.” (I’m paraphrasing, of course).

I didn’t stop there — I asked the mighty Google for more information, and it turns out those ‘difficulties’ affected quite a number of O2’s customers, both iPhone and otherwise, judging by the 20-odd page discussion that was raging on O2’s official support pages. Read More about Like AT&T, O2 Feels the Strain, but Doesn’t Whine About iPhone Customers

Today in Cloud

I was taken aback this morning by IDC’s advice to use cloud computing only as a stop-gap for certain tasks during the recession. It would be like repurchasing the Escalade that you traded in for a Prius because gas prices dropped again. But then I read the story of Swissdisk and its complete data loss, and I wondered if it is advisable to move to cloud computing at all. The cloud market needs some success stories that can match the stories of failure, or companies might find it more cost-effective, or at least less risky, just to maintain the status quo.

I Can’t Find MobileMe

At $99 a year, I expect my online service to function all the time. So perhaps that is why I am a little upset that Apple hasn’t been able to launch their MobileMe service properly and are experiencing outages. The fact that the service was supposed to launch at a time of Apple’s choosing, leaves no room for excuses on today’s problems.

It is doubly disappointing because this is a for-pay and not some free service, where you get what you pay for. Many free services occassionaly suffer downtime. Apple’s DotMac service, predecessor to MobileMe was as temperamental as John McEnroe in his heyday. (Related Story: dotMac, time for a makeover.) The only saving grace is that my dot.mac email via the desktop client is working properly. Whew!

But I want to see a letter of apology and a refund for time lost to outage. Infact all paying services should be forced to refund the money for the time the services are down. That way the high cost of returning a couple of dollars is going to eat into their profits, making them work harder. Read More about I Can’t Find MobileMe