Back at the end of 2010, we told you about one of the hottest topics for 2011 - the cloud. True to form, the IT industry has been buzzing about it for quite some time, and here in the first few months of the year, there have already been major strides by major players to push cloud computing to the masses.
One of the most notable announcements came from Amazon at the end of March, when they introduced Amazon Cloud Drive, billed as "your hard drive in the cloud." Essentially giving anyone anywhere with access to the internet the ability to store and use music, videos, photos and documents online, its potential for convenience and minimal physical hardware for the end-user is impressive. Yet it also creates huge swarms of data that need the proper storage, maintenance and upkeep, yup, you guessed it, in the cloud.
As primary and colocation data centers spring up across the globe to handle this oncoming mass of data tied to the cloud, it's important to remember that the same issues of backup, downtime and troubleshooting still exist.
Just yesterday, on April 21, 2011, a scalable data center in Northern Virginia that hosts the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) web services, experienced a significant crash due to latency issues. The data center, a hub for many third-party social media websites such as Reddit, Hootsuite, and Foursquare all experienced considerable downtime, with customers feeling the effects.
While outages due to network failure and other various reasons are simply a fact of life, the news does highlight how the cloud, as both an entity and a solution, must negotiate its place in the data storage spectrum. For some companies, getting on the grid means going off-site for hosting. For others, it's a matter of preference to keep that data just down the hall.
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