Scaling and Monitoring the Clouds
The usefulness of Amazon’s EC2 cloud took a step forward recently with the introduction of Amazon’s own real-time monitoring, auto scaling, and load balancing product offerings. Most of these were already services offered by third parties built ontop of Amazon’s and other provider’s clouds, such as Mosso, or through custom implementations of HAProxy, etc. However, the integration should allow for easier administration and better support.
There continue to be reservations by many companies over the feasibility of running critical systems or placing sensitive data on third party clouds. While we have not lost a major cloud computing provider yet, undoubtedly because they are all still so new, other third party storage providers have recently shutdown as noted in PCWorlds article Will Your Data Disappear When Your Online Storage Site Shuts Down? Granted that these storage providers’ business models were very different, often giving away storage for free in hopes of up selling users on other products such as printing of photos. ISP’s and hosting providers do go out of business all the time, leaving customers in the lurch. Failure is not reserved for small businesses as we’ve seen recently with banks and car companies. As Alan Williamson, co-founder of AW2.0 a cloud computing firm, stated “Users cannot absolve themselves from being 100 percent responsible for their own data.” The cloud computing offerings are becoming more mature but they still require companies to understand the pros and cons in order to make wise decisions and plans in the event of service outages or business failures.