The Cost of Cloud Computing Failures

As of late many pundits have been professing the benefits of cloud computing such as; reduced capital equipment purchase, scale ability, reduced management costs and having fixed costs.

The International Working Group on Cloud Computing Resiliency has reported,

“total of 568 hours of downtime at 13 well-known cloud services since 2007 had an economic impact of more than $71.7 million dollars”

Although this isn’t a staggering number over 5 years, this number would more than likely increase as the adoption of cloud computing increased.

According to IWGCCR, the average unavailability of cloud services is 7.5 hours per year, amounting to an availability rate of 99.9%. For mission critical systems an expected uptime is %99.999. A typical electrical grid in the US has down time of less than 15 minutes per year. ”It is extremely far from the expected reliability of mission critical system (99.999%). As a comparison, the service average unavailability for electricity in a modern capital is less than 15 minutes per year,” the researchers noted in their paper.

This is the first paper the IWGCCR has publish on the Availability Ranking of World Cloud Computing (ARWC).  As cloud computing grows and increases in use both by governments and globally,  it is important to understand how reliable cloud computing is especially as it takes on ‘mission critical roles’ in healthcare and other sectors.

The research of cloud outages was conducting using some of the biggest users of cloud computing in the world such Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Paypal to name a few.

The group admitted that the methodology used is far from perfect and plans to use a better method for the next report.  IWGCCR felt that outages were under reported as well they did not have an accurate assessment of the economic impact of the outages.

It wasn’t discussed, but I would imagine there may be a difference in outages depending on the vendor.

As companies are considering cloud computing, up-time considerations and a solid track record of the vendor must be looked at as well.  This may hurt some of the newer cloud computing service providers as they wouldn’t have an established track record or history to demonstrate to prospective clients.

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System Solutions and Integration

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