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Cloud Outages


Cloud Outages

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Cloud Outages

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IceDread
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I believe these issues are mostly management related.

Companies often wants their product out asap on the market so they can earn money and in that process quality does not come first.
blandry
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Many years ago (way back in the 80's when we rode in covered wagons to work, and...) PC's were "new", someone was always coming up with "the next big idea". One of these were something we called "RAM Drives" - essentially memory based drives. You could buy a PC board that was about as big as a real surfboard (dual-use too!) and it would give you a whopping extra megabyte (yes, 1) of "memory disk".

Sometimes we would store our games on those drives because they would run faster, other times some people used them for business because things would load and save faster.

Then came the stunning realization that if you didnt backup your RAM Drive, when power went out, or you turned off your PC, all that data would go "poof!" and be gone. In the end, RAM Drives never really caught on. Why? Because they were a dumb idea in the long run.

Enter the Cloud. Now let's see - I take my vital data - store is somewhere a million miles from my home or business - and depend on a company that doesn't really give a rat's backside about me compared to its Enterprise customers, and trust that this is all yet another "next big idea"...

The Next Big Idea theory has one weakness... Only a small percentage of the Next Big Ideas are actually good ideas. To those who believe in the Cloud I say, good luck. If you trust that you matter and you don't mind losing your data, whether its business, personal or a mix of both, because you have kid yourself that you are a "valued customer" - good luck indeed.

For my money, Cloud computing as a whole is another dumb idea.... As so many companies and corporations are now starting to see.

There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Michael.Beeby
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Now, suppose they get smart. There is a copy somewhere. But assume there is some latency getting from current master to secondary. And pop, the primary is kaput. Now, it might just be that something was lost. I realise that if they are properly mirrored this should not happen. But at some point I expect to see articles on lost data. I could be wrong.
chrisfradenburg
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I see a lot of potential for the cloud but certainly have concerns. Being in the healthcare industry the fact that under HIPPA guidelines we can't store data in most of the clouds. I know auditing is a big part of this. In a cloud sales pitches one vendor has said they don't want our patient data so there's at least one out there that isn't ready to handle HIPPA requirements.

The fact that we won't have control if the service goes down also doesn't sit well. It's not fun being in a position to say that we don't know when access will be re-established and there's nothing we can do to speed it up.
Ron Porter
Ron Porter
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cfradenburg (6/13/2011)


The fact that we won't have control if the service goes down also doesn't sit well. It's not fun being in a position to say that we don't know when access will be re-established and there's nothing we can do to speed it up.


We don't do any cloud and still can't give time estimates on recovery or do anything to speed things up. All we can do is dig in and start looking. Depending on what we find, we might be able to issue a progress update with a time estimate. If we have to go to vendor support, then we're right back to depending on someone else to identify and resolve the problem.

In general, I think the biggest problem with the cloud is the actual connectivity. We lose our Internet far more often than we lose a database or a server. Of course, we're becoming so dependent on that connectivity that it's loss is not far from being a disaster equivalent to the loss of a server.
jswong05
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I see two major issues with Cloud.
1) the speed - first depending where your claoud is and where your workers are, not all things are equal. Windows authentication at times will be too slow when the token was passed around resulting SSPI failure.
2) Who is responsible for the server/service in cloud? Where you have custom applications and databases in cloud, when there is a failure, is this the provider to resolve the issue? or your party to resolve the issue? If latter, this is just the same as before as a provided service in a different location.

I could see cloud is easier to work for music download, online video etc. But most of our businesses are not like that. This is currently a fad like "offshore outsourcing" in the 2000's. People have to invent new terms to make money, just like fashion designers have to introduce new line of clothing. I still like to see mini-skirt, it looks great.

So what is cloud? It is driven by people who want to replace windows on the mobile devices. My email did not arrive on my mobile-device. I called around nobody claims responsibility and nobody has a fix.

Jason
http://dbace.us
:-P
chrisfradenburg
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jswong05 (6/13/2011)
2) Who is responsible for the server/service in cloud? Where you have custom applications and databases in cloud, when there is a failure, is this the provider to resolve the issue? or your party to resolve the issue? If latter, this is just the same as before as a provided service in a different location.


This is just like a vendor solution hosted on client supported hardware. I would think the troubleshooting steps would go the same basic way. The group responsible for end user support does some checks to find the most likely responsible party, server or application, and routes appropriately. That group is then responsible for troubleshooting until it's either fixed or appears to be the other group.
Revenant
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I see two major issues with the Cloud.

First, no matter what the provider says, they cannot guarantee access times because their domain of control ends with the Internet provider, and they can (and do) blame slow access times on network delays. That makes enforcement of any SLAs difficult and Cloud risky to use on online systems with their own SLAs tight.

Second, there are legal issues, aside from the HIPAA mentioned by cfradenburg. To give an example, most American states and all Canadian provinces require that pharmacy data is stored on the premises, so any audit can come, lock the door, unplug the computers and do all audit offline. Similar rules apply to other verticals. Cloud providers, or at least their marketers, seem oblivious to this fact.
nawillia
nawillia
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I have a love/hate view on the 'cloud' As developers/dbas/'as other duties assigned' employees, we all know the cloud is just a fancy word for internet based services -- and i'm sure companies that have been doing hosting for a long time is like whoa nelly. And as much as I hate marketing schemes , I have to settle on the fact that I have been in this business for 12 years, but I still have 30 years to go before I can get a gumment check, so I have accept that the innovators of my profession keep the ball rolling so I can keep a job. The problem then falls on me to stay relevant in that arena. And the truth is technology moves faster than business, so I have time to find a place in the 'cloud' world, which I think will take off. Why because for all us 'older heads', we need to spend some time around some younger kids - and they are (more) accepting of these changing technologies. We see all the business reasons why everything that glitters isn't gold, but they just see gold. Sure a lot of things will fail but in the end it will produce new growth of our industry.

But I have an issue with what SJ said "However the people running many of the daily operations at cloud service providers aren't the best of the best IT people. They're the IT people just like you and me that have a job to do, and do it with varying degrees of professionalism, and success."
OK - I know what he meant, but could have re-phrased it, cause I'm sure the cloud providers would at least think they have hired the best of the best and so does my company -- i think Smile .

In the end, I think these cloud failures are a great point for us as professionals to use to the business. We have to tell them, look they have a 'me' there too, but their 'me' has to do this for a bunch of companies and there is no gaurantee that their 'me' isn't going to make a mistake. So the only answer to having the best system ever is to plan the best system ever. The cloud failures weren't a technology failure but a process failure.
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