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You can't beat The Cloud (Really)

posted 15 Feb 2013, 08:00 by Steve Adams   [ updated 19 Jul 2013, 03:38 ]
A Google Datacenter
The rise of cloud computing has brought into focus concerns about data security and service availability for customers.

I often hear people voice (legitimate) concerns regarding who can be trusted with a business' data - and it's a key concern when choosing a provider - alongside costs and control. 


This recent article:
The delusions that companies have about the cloud (by Dave Girouard)

discusses these key concerns (or delusions). I like his no-nonsense approach to this - it's an instructive read. 
These comments on outages pose the killer question regarding uptime/availability: "can your team beat that" ?

"In reality, outages merely provide your IT department with excuses to protect their kingdom. The facts are that Gmail uptime is in the range of 99.99 percent – meaning the average user experiences about four minutes of downtime per month – and Amazon targets 99.95 percent for AWS. So, can your team beat that?"

Whilst there may be a genuine opportunity for very large IT departments (with huge budgets and expensive expert staff) to take on that challenge, most IT providers won't have any where near the capacity or expertise to outperform the likes of Google.

For SMBs the opportunity to tap into and make use of these facilities is compelling. 
Can you or your local service provider compete with the best data centers in the world?

Take a tour of Google's  Data centers here: http://www.google.co.uk/about/datacenters/gallery/#/
There's some stunning images in this collection and it really gives you a feeel for the scale of the operations.