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What happens if your 'cloud' fails?

Cloud computing offers a wide range of benefits, but it also promises significant downsides. Like flexibility and freedom.

For all the benefits of "the cloud," there are two primary problems:

  1. Lock-in to the platform. Where are you going to go with your application once you've written it for a particular cloud platform? Some promise portability, but it's still a question worth asking.
  2. You're at the mercy of someone else for uptime.

This second item has always seemed like less of an issue given that the companies involved (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.) are all fantastic at operations. Surely they can do better than you or I could?

With Google's AppEngine going down yesterday, the answer may no longer be as clear....