Appendix: Objections to Use of the Cloud

(An addendum to "Increasing Freedom and Confidence in Software as a Service")

The major fears aired against the cloud are that:

These concerns are justified by real-life, cautionary examples. Numerous governments, including the US Federal Government, have requisitioned data from service providers such as Twitter.1 One region of's dominant EC2 service went down completely for about 24 hours,2 causing catastrophic outages at many well-known sites who had ignored's advice to run redundant services in multiple zones. Similar outages happen at the SaaS level.3 Wikileaks was dropped by for violating its terms of service, apparently a response not to any legal challenge but to an investigation by a US Senator (whose weight has been debated, but whose intervention is universally agreed to have taken place4).

And because social networks are also offered as services, the concerns just cited touch almost everyone nowadays who goes online.

The solution in this article tries to ameliorate these concerns. It does not deal with other important issues holding back cloud computing, such as staff training, network bandwidth for the data transfers to and from cloud systems, cost concerns, or regulatory issues.

1 WikiLeaks Backers Lose Twitter Data Fight in Assange Probe; TomTom sorry for giving customer driving data to cops

2 Amazon Server Troubles Take Down Reddit, Foursquare & HootSuite; Thunder Cloud: Will Amazon's recent server failures slow the rise of cloud computing?

3 Google's Blogger outage makes the case against a cloud-only strategy

4 How Lieberman Got Amazon To Drop Wikileaks; Why Lieberman Had Nothing to Do With Amazon Dropping WikiLeaks

Andy Oram is an editor at O’Reilly Media. This article represents his views only.

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