Can Natural Disasters Doom The Future Of Cloud Computing?

Can Natural Disasters Doom The Future Of Cloud Computing?

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many people are asking whether cloud computing can withstand nature’s wrath. The storm took several major cloud computing companies offline, including Amazon Web Services (at least on the East Coast), and left thousands of websites and online services down for hours—and in some cases days.

Hurricane Sandy has definitely proved that the cloud is vulnerable to natural disasters and extreme weather patterns, but that hardly presages the death of cloud computing. All computers and electronic systems are equally susceptible to the same events. Millions of people lost telephone and electricity service in the wake of Hurricane Sandy (as is the case for essentially all major storms). But cloud skeptics seem to conveniently forget that even if cloud services didn’t go down, victims of natural disasters without power still wouldn’t be able to access them.

In reality, most cloud computing company’s data centers are far more resistant to extreme weather and other disasters than the on-premises servers and work stations belonging to most homes and businesses. At several data centers along the eastern seaboard, data centers lost grid-based power but then immediately switched over to emergency generators. For many cloud companies, it was only when their generators were running out of fuel that they began shutting down servers. Such an organized shutdown is far safer than sudden power disruptions at a typical home or office, which are often responsible for hardware damage and data corruption.

Critics also typically fail to mention that the underlying network infrastructure upon which U.S. data centers rely is one of the most secure public utility systems in the country. While much of the nation’s electricity system is aboveground and millions of miles of waterlines have been cited by civil engineers as being in decay, the fiber-optic data transmission network which data centers use is almost always securely buried belowground—and sometimes even underneath oceans.

If anything, Hurricane Sandy will likely inspire cloud computing companies and data centers to develop even more robust protocols for dealing with extreme weather, power outages, and other emergency events. Already, several companies are experimenting with running data centers with alternative energy sources, such as solar, geothermic, and tidal, that are completely independent of the national power grid. That kind of forward thinking and investment are what set cloud computing companies apart from the many businesses that rely on traditional on-premises IT infrastructure and public utilities.

By Robert Shaw

Robert

Robert Shaw was an early entrant into the cloud computing sector, working as a consultant for Accenture on server virtualization and software-as-a-service migration. He has also been a technical editor for eHow and other web properties and still provides local IT consulting services.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

The Business Benefits of Cloud CRM

The Business Benefits of Cloud CRM

The Business Benefits of Cloud CRM From software deployment, to mobility, to wearable technology, cloud computing has transformed seemingly every aspect of modern business. Research indicates cloud applications and platforms will be at the forefront of IT spending by 2016, with half of all enterprises implementing cloud solutions by 2017. One of the quickest markets…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

IBM and SAP Announce Industry’s Largest Cloud Deal

IBM and SAP Announce Industry’s Largest Cloud Deal

IBM and SAP Announce Industry’s Largest Cloud Deal IBM and SAP have shaken the cloud computing world this afternoon with the announcement of one of the largest cloud deals in the industry’s history – bringing together two of the largest technology companies in a bid to offer a more holistic service to their clients. SAP…

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

What Is The Internet of Things? “We’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.”  – Scott Cook The Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Systems are based on the notions of Sensors, Connectivity, People and Processes. We are creating a new world to view and measure anything around us through…

CONNECT TO THE CLOUD

 

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021