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Posts Tagged ‘backup’

The Risk Of “Don’t Make Me Think”

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Or, when the knowledge should be in the box, that you call your company

We have (almost) all heard about the Amazon cloud outage at the North Virginia data center, and for sure we have been hearing many bloggers’ thoughts about it. Here is my take at it.

Disclaimer: all what I write doesn’t aspire to a general validity, it only tries to have a very special validity for my own approach to producing web applications and IT services, and at being an entrepreneur in general. The current hyperspace event is a very good opportunity to double check the concept of ”Don’t make me think”.

As Leon Katsnelson writes, this outage has shown how many companies use cloud computing. The question to me is not whether this is a good or a bad thing, or whether they should have bought a different sevice from Amazon, the question to me is more whether they are at all aware of it.

Cloud computing as a business model has taken some knowledge out of the companies and has collected it inside the service itself. Cloud computing has taken on because of the “don’t make me think” drive.  Together with  the knowledge, what has been thrown out of the companies, are also a lot worries and that is what  companies pay for, they pay to be able to think about something else than computing.

This is all right and well, in the end “Don’t make me think” is what all businesses sell in a way or the other. However some business should rather re-think what their core business is.

I by pure chance know of at least one company that has been down due to this outage, and whose very business is selling backup services. And they not only sell to final customers, they sell to resellers. This means that many, and many companies, whose business, among other things, is selling continual availability of data, have been down for over 24 hours, and without having any chance to do anything about it, for themselves or for their customers.

The lesson: when you sell “Don’t make me think” it should be based on your own knowledge of what’s in the box. If you sell a box that you bought from someone else that bought it from someone else that … you got it, then you not only take the thinking out of the equation, but also the responsibility, and that’s overselling.

Differently from Leon Katsnelson, I think that there are other options than buying cloud computing from Amazon, whether it is with a silver lining or not: one is to build your own cloud, the technology is readily available and if your business is backup services, the knowledge too should be in your own box.