Amazon server crash was good for cloud computing

As I type this the huge crash at Amazon that took a lot of hosted sites like HootSuite, Four Square and Springpad offline rumbles on. I suspect that unless malodorous solids hit rotating blades big time then by the time you read this everything will have been resolved and thousands of words penned by brighter minds that mine will, have analysed the whys and wherefores. My own take on it is this – shit happens!

OK, that’s a bit simplistic but let’s look at this way. The Cloud as we know it is how old? Three years, maybe five at most. It’s an evolution, not a revolution. It is blossoming organically and is dramatically changing the way we work and play.

Old Farts like me will remember the early days of mobile phones and all the problems we experienced back then. As the years went on the technology improved and the problems diminished. It’s the same with cloud computing. A “crap hitting the fan” moment like this was inevitable. I don’t care how careful you are with the planning you can never fully anticipate what I call The Four F Syndrome – the Fickle Finger of Fate when something comes out of the blue and stabs you in the eye.

What is important is that we all learn from this. The firms whose sites went down will be asking very big questions of Amazon – as will The Big A itself. Cock-ups like this will make the cloud infrastructure stronger and will help protect it from terrorist attacks and the like.

On the Friday morning after Black Thursday I woke up ands the world was till here. Springpad was down as a desktop service but I could still use the mobile facilities on my Android smartphone and it will sync when everything is restored, as it will be.So, let’s learn and move on.

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Kevin Tea is a journalist and marketing communications professional who has worked for some of the leading blue chip companies in the UK and Europe. In the 1990s he became interested in how emerging Internet-based technologies could change the way that people worked and became an administrator on the Telework Europa Forum on CompuServe. With other colleagues he took part in a four year European Commission sponsored project to look at the way that the Internet could benefit remote communities. His blog is a resource for SMEs who want to use cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies.