Yes Virginia, Cloud Computing isn’t Santa Claus, there are risks, and they’ve been pointed out pretty clearly this week.
The first risk, of course, is what happens when your storage provider up and disappears? In this economy, companies increasingly don’t make it and close the doors. It happens to huge companies and small. I know this fear well, as I was once using a hosting company for this site that shut down and disappeared, leaving many of us in the lurch and scrambling to find new hosting solutions, as well as making sure we had all our pages, and that was in a pretty good economy compared to what we have now!
Secondly, even a company as big as Google isn’t immune to network outages. Personally, I didn’t have any problems, but apparently there was some sort of network outage that kept a whle lot of people from being able to access Gmail, Google Docs and many other Google services. Cloud computing, for all the great benefits, still depends entirely on the “cloud” infrastructure working properly. When it doesn’t, you’ve got problems.
As with any technology, you have to weigh the benefits and the risks to your business or personal use, and make the appropriate choice. As much as I love the idea of cloud computing, and online storage, we need to be aware of the potential downsides and be prepared to deal with them.
Heh, who knew the Boy Scout Motto would be so relevant to technology? 😉
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