When 2e2 Group suddenly collapsed earlier this year, owing over £400m to trade creditors and stranding a rake of customers from NHS trusts to the Bank of England, a gigantic question mark instantly formed over the cloud. Many customers already had concerns about keeping control of their assets in the cloud. 2e2's rapid collapse …
What I find astonishing is that apparently intelligent business people couldn't see this coming. Such collapses have been predicted on here and similar tech sites for ages, so how is it nobody else seemed to see the risks - and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Fully agree. If you are large enough to need some form of data-centre and are looking at Cloud or similar then you may well have looked at all the technical aspects for backup/restore and disaster recovery etc etc, but what if the company you are using simply goes belly-up? Worse still, what if the company you are using gets bought out by someone who is in competition with you? All the contracts in the world will not help you if there is no-one picking up the phone.
Consider as an example what happened to anyone using Megaupload. Could the same action be taken against your cloud provider? If so you had better hope that you have a spare copy of the data laying around.
It's the classic LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA with fingers in the ears syndrome.
The amount of stupid decisions made whilst suffering from said syndrome is quite frankly staggering.
Oxymoron - intelligent business people
I always remember a quote from Theo Paphitis about his eureka moment (I think it was in the Radio Times about Dragons Den).
Theo advocates "It might seem blindingly obvious but business is all about common sense", but the eureka part was that "common sense isn't that common".
The problem with the cloud
The collapse of 2e2 shows what for me is the major problem with storing things in the cloud. Cloud providers going titsup. The industry can argue all it wants that 2e2 was a very specific case, and they can come up with all the accreditations they want but the fact is that from time to time companies go bankrupt.
If that company is hosting data for all sorts of other companies (who may be relying on it), then what is going to happen to those other companies? Yes, they can claim their data, but how long will this take? How many companies can afford to be without potentially major parts of their IT systems for that long?
Even once they have access to their data and any software running on the cloud, how long would it take to migrate it to another provider (or in house)? Can they be without data that long?
Yes, keeping the data and software running on your own computers costs more, but at least you won't lose access to it due to bankruptcy. Well, you might, but if you are bankrupt, you won't need access to it anyway.
The problem is finding the happy medium so that you can take advantages of economies of scale and providing something that is 'supplier fault tolerant'. Maybe cloud providers should be put into RAID array. Redundant Array of Inexpensive D........
You mean something like...
You know, for some reason I just don't think that's gonna fly.
Single point of failure
Any vendors partnering up to avoid this possibility in the future?
Fascinated by all this argument about 'cloud' and the 'apparent' sudden need to check the financial standing and strength of your chosen partner/supplier.
Fact is no matter what the type of supplier you have and no matter what the service, there is always an inherent risk the service may be damaged, halted or lost. It's really all down to getting the thing right approach to risk management, partner selection and recovery plan.
This is NOT a new phenomenon or uniquely applicable to Cloud or outsourcing
Chairman Greencloud feels there is some cirrus at the frayed edges
Clearly, the government has to provide a Central Cloud (nominally independent and possibly labeled as "private"), so in case your preferred Cloud Provider goes bust, bail-cloud power and quantitative clouding can be quickly provided at the push of a button by the Ministry of Cloud so that Your Preferred Cloud can be reinflated at reasonable cost to the taxpayer.
The cloud is a good idea you just need to make sure you don't put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you always have a datafeed to keep a local copy!