Failures in the cloud are in the nature of man

If the cloud falls it has to do with the people who are responsible for it. How could it be otherwise. Finally, the systems do not program or configure on their own. And even if it means “No cloud without automation” you have to say “(No cloud without automation) without human skills”. In particular, we see our human weaknesses in the cloud when an outage occurs. Especially this year, we have seen a few of them.

People make mistakes

And that’s ok. As long as we are learning from those mistakes. What at one or the other vendors was not the case this year. I will not mention any names here, because those certainly know itself that they need to do something much better. But if an emergency generator does not work twice and also all emergency plans fail, something is wrong!
Although this failure, I am writing about, was not primarily a human error. Because against a hurricane and storm we are helpless. But the cascade of failures that happened during the storm is inexplicable.

Other errors that have happened this year, can be assigned directly to the people. On the one hand we had for example misconfigured network interfaces which ensure that the vendor networks were flooded with data and have therefore set themselves checkmate. Or a provider recently changes the configuration of the load balancer, which led to a prolonged outage.

Like I said, people make mistakes. And therefore one should not always blame “the big bad cloud”, but rather look behind the facade and keep in mind that there are just sitting humans like you and I.

Along these lines, let’s have a better 2013. 🙂

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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