Amazon still hasn't fully resolved the massive computer glitch that has brought down or slowed websites large and small, but one thing is clear: “This is a wake-up call for cloud computing,” an industry analyst tells the New York Times. “It will force a conversation in the industry.” With cloud computing, companies pay to use the huge computer servers of others, and Amazon has emerged as a leader in a field expected to grow to $55.5 billion by 2014.
But this week's problems at Amazon's northern Virginia data center highlight the risks. Specifically, companies will need to more carefully assess which information goes to the clouds and which stays in the home office. They also may need to pony up more money for what amounts to cloud insurance by having data spread out over different sites. In a Forbes blog post headlined "The Day the Cloud Died," Eric Savitz hopes Amazon's mess "illustrates the need for proper planning and design, not a condemnation of cloud computing in general." (Read more Amazon stories.)