Communicate Blog

Information Technology: They said the Titanic would never sink, so could the cloud ever crash?

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, May 16, 2012

cloud competing
Image: digitalart /

You just have to spend an hour on Twitter or Facebook watching the numerous updates in your stream to realise that we are creating data literally every second of the day. It’s hard to try and visualize where all this data are being kept and managed. A recent Infographic from Mashable tries to put it all in proportion, but really, when you look at those numbers it’s just enough to blow your mind.

It puts the question asked by Steven McIntosh into real perspective. With this much data around and taking into consideration our reliance on it:

Could the cloud ever crash?

While certain sites or servers could be closed down, it would be practically impossible for the cloud as a whole to crash.

Rik Ferguson from internet security company Trend Micro says: "The cloud, much like the internet, is not one single system reliant on one single connection. For the whole cloud to disappear is pretty much inconceivable."

However, it is possible for individual cloud servers to fail as a result of physical damage to the hardware.

For example, if there was a flood at a computing centre, a great deal of data stored there could potentially be destroyed.

But Ferguson says many of the larger and more reputable online companies will have their own contingency plan in such an event.

"Any large enterprise has their own backup plans which are designed to cope with a flood, earthquake, natural disaster," he says.

There is absolutely no doubt that cloud computing is beneficial to companies looking to revolutionize their Information Technology infrastructures. Although it’s unlikely that the whole cloud would crash it’s important to note that storing data in the cloud does have some risk factors. Information is valuable and no company wants to run the risk of losing data. The key is to manage the risk and take the necessary precautions to minimize possible losses.

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