Is Facebook down?

September 23, 2010

Well at this exact moment in time yes but I’m not going to start pointing fingers at Mark Zuckerberg. Instead I am going to use this as an example that highlights one of the biggest issues related to cloud computing…availability.

In many ways cloud computing solves a number of issues
  • The removal of hardware infrastructure, servers etc.
  • No need to hire expensive IT support
  • Access to data and resources from anywhere
  • The ability to setup a virtual office where everyone can share data without the expense of office space

However, in business you soon realise these cost savings can impact your productivity when you cannot access important data when you need it.  And this is the issue Facebook users will have experienced.

Facebook is largely recreational allowing instant communication between friends and I have increasingly seen more people use this as their primary method of communication. So with Facebook out of action I am sure some friends have broken out into cold sweats because they can’t get their fix of Facebooking.

To be fair to Facebook, the initial reports suggest that network problems are the cause but from nonexistent access in my part of the world it seems the server is reporting the issue and not the network/internet.

Facebook is down

Facebook problems aside, imagine how you would work if all your company data held in the cloud also became inaccessible.  How long could you work without access to information before you started incurring costs that impact your business?  I know from working in the Finance Sector that network outages have huge implications to lost business which is why dedicated networks were the norm.

The simple fact is that whilst cloud computing is set to become mainstream you must have appropriate resources and systems to absorb any failures outside your control.