Has cloud computing come down to earth?

Does the fact that three of the world's leading online services have recently suffered outages prove that software-as-a-service is too immature for business?

It's been a bad few weeks for cloud computing.

On February 11th, salesforce.com experienced an outage that hit European and North American customers, but happily left ANZ users alone.

A few days later, on February 15th, Amazon's S3 storage cloud failed for a few hours, due to a problem processing authenticated requests..

And on February 28th, the very day Microsoft was proudly proclaiming that many of its Live services now run on Windows Server 2008, Windows Live Mail, Skydrive Live and Live Messenger also experienced problems for several hours.

None of the three outages lasted more than a handful of hours, some comfort to inconvenienced users.

The three outages come just weeks after submarine telecommunications cables connecting Europe to the Far East were severed, an incident said to have made offshore contact centres less viable.

By now, you probably see the obvious conclusion on offer from these incidents, namely that cloud computing has been worryingly frail over the last month. Whether that will harden CIO attitudes to the technology remains to be seen, but one suspects it would be a brave move to walk into a boardroom and recommend it for large scale deployment until the issues that caused these incidents have been fully explained.

What do you think? Have the recent SaaS outages made you think differently about cloud computing? Let us know!

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