Cloud Computing Totally Failed us

Aug 14, 2008
Updated • Mar 16, 2015
Gmail, Google, Twitter

Just a word of warning, this is very likely going to turn into a rant. (But not the rant you may have expected)

If you follow tech blogs then you could hardly fail to have noticed the reaction the other day when Gmail went down for the total time period of about 1-2 hours.

The screenshot below shows the feeds in my RSS reader.

Pretty much the same thing happened when Amazon hosting services went down a few weeks ago for 8 hours or so; a huge over-reaction of from the blogosphere; dire warnings about cloud computing and questions over the quality of service.


Anyone else wonder about this? Think it’s just a little bit of an over-reaction?

I know it’s been a pretty quiet week for tech news, without not much more substantial then vague and questionable Apple rumours but does that really excuse jumping on something like this?

Perhaps if this was a regular, Twitter-style, occurrence then yes, it’s a concern. However Gmail has been a very stable service for the whole 4 years it’s been sitting in it’s perpetual beta.

Sure, if you are using Gmail for as your main corporate email solution it would be a hassle, not question. However the real issue here seems to be that people are using the service with no thought at all for any kind of back-up solution.

Google may be selling itself as a Microsoft alternative for office products, but that doesn’t make it free from the occasional issue, a good manager should realise this and have appropriate measures in place.

As Alan Patrick so succinctly put it:

Apparently howls of outrage have been heard all over Twitter even. We awaits with interest to see how the Cloudpimps will spin this one.....
We hate to say We Told You So -D....... but we did - so, here it is again - free advice, may save a lot of hassle in future:

(i) Ensure you have copies on your own systems of any cloud data
(ii) Ensure you have redundancy in all critical systems
(iii) Pay for any critical path systems - its usually a false economy to go free.


Cloud Computing Totally Failed us
Article Name
Cloud Computing Totally Failed us
Why you need a backup strategy if you rely on the cloud for anything.

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Dante said on August 14, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Yeah, I got hit by that Gmail outage. Lucky I’m totally paranoid. I have my Gmail account send copies of all emails to a Yahoo account. I just logged into that Yahoo account that I haven’t logged into for over 2 months and read my emails. I do this in reverse also with my main Yahoo account :)

  2. zgeorgem said on August 14, 2008 at 7:04 am

    wait a second…
    email goin down is nothing new…
    if u are on an exchange server there are always outages goin on… that is not cloud computing in any way… why not complain about that?

  3. Rarst said on August 14, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Gmail is hardly cloud computing. It’s email with some fancy features. I remember getting an account (required invites at that time), looking at it and thinking “so what?”.

    On other hand I am not much of email person, I mostly communicate through ICQ.

    On global outcry – I learned to ignore it long ago. Why outcries cover only boring and stupid things? :) Or maybe they are making things boring and stupid…

  4. darkkosmos said on August 14, 2008 at 10:25 am

    -.- I totally agree, I’m sick of cloud computing and anything related to it. Everytime something happens there will be tons of post generated on tech blogs when most of their readers don’t even use that freaking service!!!

  5. Transcontinental said on August 14, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I still don’t understand the success of cloud computing when in the meanwhile hard disks are getting more and more powerful… Also, I remain stunned in one’s ability to transmit — whatever security — private data over the seven seas as if confidence had become the leader of a well educated hi-tech philosophy.
    Am I talking rubbish ?

  6. Josh said on August 14, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I think I kind of agree with you Transcontinental. HDD are continually getting better and safer and I will always want a copy of all my data stored on one.

    However synchronization and storage on the cloud is still something that excites me. Live Mesh 1.0 will be fantastic.

  7. Transcontinental said on August 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Online storage as a highly-secured backup or as a mean of file sharing is one thing with which I agree, but is that cloud computing ? What I am not affiliated with, is the idea of real-time process “on the cloud” : what advantage a company or myself would meet to process a document with its data and its processor “on the cloud” when both can easily fit on my hard disk ? I see more drawbacks than advantages.

  8. Josh said on August 17, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Well that was the original vision of cloud computing; ‘processing data on the cloud’, everything to be provided like Gmail is. However now the vision seems to be synchronization across the cloud, data backup on the cloud and desktop software with web counterparts.

    Some examples: Live Mail online and Live Mail Desktop, Office Live, Yahoo Mail and Zimbra, Woopra (desktop and online), Adobe AIR technology, Mozilla Prism, Live Mesh, Evernote (web version and different applications for different devices) and the list goes on.

    The biggest hold-up is still bandwith, especially this side of the world… woo 1mbs…

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.