Cloud computing has had a rousing few years, and the beginning of 2011 went well for companies like Netflix and Hewlett-Packard, with both gaining ground in the service and delivery of cloud options, resulting in profits for them and benefits for customers. Other companies haven’t been so fortunate – at the end of April, Amazon’s AWS went dark for several days thanks to an apparent redundancy area, and at the beginning of May, the Playstation Qriocity network suffered a serious outage after a malicious attack.
Amazon claims to have made efforts that will limit the possibility of such an outage ever happening again, but many are saying that the damage to cloud confidence has already been done as AWS supports a large number of business and individuals. The Playstation Network hacking, meanwhile, has resulted in the apparent theft of approximately 10 million pieces of credit card data. While the Qriocity service is free to users, many are concerned about their data and several lawsuits have been launched against the company.
Providers that are looking to move into the cloud space can learn a number of lessons from these outages and breaches, the most important of which is that no cloud is perfect. Even Amazon’s relatively stable offering can quickly become slowed to a crawl or go offline, and free services that take a minimum of data from consumers can suddenly become exposed to the world. As concerns about the resting and moving security of data continue to rise, companies must be upfront about what they are doing to combat issues, and be prepared to respond quickly when a problem occurs in order to ensure that their services are disrupted as little as possible.