There’s a Dilbert comic strip that I found hilarious a while back…
The hilarious part is there is that the chance of this happening in real life is non-zero. Not that it is likely to happen, but it’s impossible, statistically speaking, to completely rule out the idea.
Now there are “big” cloud providers like AWS or…well…AWS. The chances of your datacenter getting lost there is less, they’re not going to disappear, and they’re a pretty together company so the odds are in your favor.
But what if it were to happen?
Say I’m a small business (I am actually) and because I’m cheap, I want to outsource all of my datacenter operations, email, etc, to “Bobs clouds and stuff.” Email, Database, Custom Widget Application, all of it.
The migration is easy, virtualize my systems and upload them right? (Or the smarter way is to create new ones and migrate to them, but that’s a different story.)
But what if Bob decides that he’s done, that he’s going to shut everything down and run to aruba because his ex-wife is after him for 10 years of back-child support? Or comes down with a rash no-one can identify and dies?
Ok, a little far-fetched, but you get the drift. What’s a small business’ recourse if their cloud provider just folds? Do you have any? Can you pay the lawyers to fight out who owns what while you’re not making any money because your entire operation has been “turned off”?
It’s a horrifically overstated problem, but it brings out the potential downside to cloud computing. You don’t actually have control. You are putting your data, your livelihood, your company’s very being, in the hands of someone else who may or may-not care.
I’m a control freak. Anyone who knows me or has tried unsuccessfully to have me committed in the past 20 years knows that.
I want control of my data. I want it in my hot little hands. I want to have tapes. I want to know where they are and I want to have instant access to them at 2am if I wake up and find I’ve had a nightmare about all of my data being gone.