Cloud Routing: A New Set of Problems?
The recent spate of large-scale hackings, coupled with Internet outages has shown how vulnerable existing IT systems can be. The advent of the cloud has mitigated the effect of some of these problems to some extent, but not completely.
The cloud does provide a safe place to store data and applications, or in any event can serve as a fairly reliable backup system. As a user, you may not know where your information is being stored, but as long as you can access it on demand, you should have little to worry about. Admittedly, we like to feel we are in control of the information we have created or are using, and the knowledge that this information is being sent to and from who knows where can be somewhat disconcerting.
If there is a worrisome aspect to the cloud, it has to do with typical depictions of its architecture – a group of boxes with a cloud in the center. There are of course a number of different cloud systems, but most tend to be depicted in the same, somewhat nebulous way.
What the image of a cloud does suggest is that cloud architecture can be quite complex, which is generally true. Major advantages of a complex cloud system include built in redundancy and the ability to manage huge amounts of information. A disadvantage, or at least a potential problem that needs to be worked, lies in the complexity. When something does go wrong, the source of the problem can be difficult to pinpoint. This can become an increasingly serious problem as these systems are called upon to manage ever-increasing information loads.