back to article The bigger they get, the harder we fall: Thinking our way out of cloud crash

Cloud computing is wonderful, until it isn’t. A digital screw comes loose somewhere, and before you know it the whole engine has ground to a halt in a cascading cloud outage – or, as we like to call it, a cloutage. It has happened before, and Bryan Ford was very worried about it in 2012. Then a Yale Researcher, he published a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    piss wet stuff all over you.

    They don't last forever and are intrinsically unstable.

    That's all you need to know.

    Caveat emptor and all that.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Really, it goes in two directions

    "Simple cloud" scenario -> Profit from joining your in-house knowledge to the vendor's knowledge as well as the vendor's buying power and connectivity in keeping your systems up and running and on the net, while being able to extricate yourself or "pivot" (what a weird word) to a replcement solution as the need arises. This is why I love Linux on EC2 - in-house knowledge is not allowed to wither on the vine, the config is visible and one can fire up a local machine on need. Although you may not get to use all the bells and whistles and candy offered.

    "Complex cloud" scenario, SaaS etc. -> WTF is even going on!

    Fail Whale Mug.png

  3. BitDr

    Your Network, your Data, your hardware

    Don't rely on other peoples compute infrastructures (cloud), the Internet and cloud services should not be relied upon to replace your compute environment which will in turn keep lack of access to the Internet from becoming an insurmountable problem.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Much as I hate buzzwords and compounds,

    (not to mention cloud services outright)

    here's a begrudging thumbs up for "Cloutage".

    1. VinceH

      Re: Much as I hate buzzwords and compounds,

      It's a very telling word, though - or more to the point, it's very telling that someone has coined a word for the problem.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Much as I hate buzzwords and compounds,

        Not just 'someone' - I believe cloutage was coined by a fellow commentard on these very forums a couple of weeks agoese

        1. moonface

          Re: Much as I hate buzzwords and compounds,

          I'll just leave this here:



          by Pitchblender January 15, 2013

          Once fully experienced, it is probably, an obviously striking portmanteau!

      2. Windrose

        Re: Much as I hate buzzwords and compounds,

        Cue mandatory "Broken Arrow" quote.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When the 2 or possibly 3 providers that are really going to win get 'too big to fail'

    I presume they'll start getting public money to prevent it.

  6. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Who AUDITS The Cloud?

    Various strands to this question. Here's a couple...

    (1) Data you push into the cloud. Where does is it get handled on its travels? Who can tap into it? Who can alter it?

    (2) An international corporate puts their accounts system into the cloud. How are the "demarcation points" between cloud and on-premise handled as regards the integrity of transactions is concerned? If there were two islands of data separated by the cloud (two for simplicity's sake, more would cloud the issue more), is there any process which looks at both demarcation points to check that what goes in one end is faithfully replicated at the other? What happens if there are intermediate processes (which are hidden by a fraudulent administrator of the company's cloud configuration, who has created a third demarcation point) which take advantage of time delays in processing transactions to post positive currency swings to a hidden bank account, and ditto for interest payments, particularly where daylight saving changes occur? Small amounts maybe, but there have been cases in the past where fraudsters have gained well out of such activities.

  7. Fluffy Cactus

    Simply put

    Given: The fact that every EULA is geared towards any and all software companies "Never ever really being legally responsible for anything".

    Given: The fact that big players rarely if ever truly care about any of their paying customers.

    Given: The software arena always being full of promises, but a bit short on delivering.

    Given: The IT industry, software industry, computer industry being fairly used to not being held responsible for anything. (Compared to car, airplane, tractor, refrigerator, etc. industry)

    Desired result: Reliable cloud data centers that keep working under difficult, unpredictable, iffy conditions.

    I have my doubt about this. Sorry.

  8. ted frater

    Just the article ive been waiting for.

    A big Co i do engineering for, cant mention the name refused to accept an email from me just 10 days ago, the refusal came from a Mcsft cloud server.

    so i called in by phone to ask , have you put your email server into MS cloud?

    Yes was to reply.

    I delivered some work today, and the staff member said they had no emails in all yesterday.

    Again MS cloud has let them down.

    I commented that I hope they have suitable penalty clauses in their contract. for failure to deliver what was supposed to be a cheaper and safer service than their previous email server.

    Apart from the confidentiality risks. MS could sell contents of purchase orders to my Co's competitors apart from other confidential business transactions.

    Their IT isnt my problem but my other work is. I will be taking it up with them in due course

    about going down the encryption route.

  9. nilfs2

    I hate cloud...

    ...because my refurbished, out off warranty, 10 year old servers that are next to that leaky water pipe, on my company's dusty basement never go down (at least that's what I think, because I wasn't allowed to buy a monitoring software, so I never notice when my servers crash); and I manage to do all that with an almost non-exhistent IT budget. I'm so awesome!!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Tower of Babel?

    Similar to some operating systems that shall remain nameless, the Cloud is an (overly?) ambitious attempt to create a perfect (dare I say heavenly) answer to everyone's ambitions and problems, each with their own plan, but no master plan (as such were declared rigid, confining, stultifying and retrograde by an earlier generation of so-called "system builders"). As such, it will likely incur the wrath of the demigod KISS, a lieutenant of the God of UNDERSTANDING, who will smite its builders, and leave each of them babbling about their individual plans in a language known only to their kind, but foreign to all the others.

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