Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Hidden Risk of a Meltdown in the Cloud

"The Hidden Risk of a Meltdown in the Cloud." The Physics arXiv Blog for Technology Review, March 13, 2012.

From the blog: "The cloud is essentially a metaphor for a network of computers in which computational tasks and resources can be shared. The big idea here is that users simply rent the computing power, the storage or an application for as long as they need it without having to invest in the infrastructure behind it. That makes computing cheaper, easier and more efficient. 

There are well known problems of course. The most obvious relates to guaranteeing the security of data when it is stored on computers that that a user does not own and that many others can also access. But various solutions have emerged such as encrypting data before it is sent to the cloud. For that reason, the migration to the cloud is proceeding at full speed in many places. That may be folly. Today, Bryan Ford at Yale University in New Haven says that the full risks of this migration have yet to be properly explored. He points out that complex systems can fail in many unexpected ways and outlines various simple scenarios in which a cloud could come unstuck. In the worst case scenario, a cloud could experience a full meltdown that could seriously threaten any business that relies on it." Read more

See Also
Ford, Brian. "Icebergs in the Clouds: the Other Risks of Cloud Computing." Cornell University LibraryarXiv:1203.1979v1, March 9, 2012.