The Google wake-up call

Despite common sense, companies still purchase cloud services online with a credit card. Google has done a great branding job – people confide in them because they really want to believe that such a big name is probably amongst the best you can get. Well, it isn’t, so everybody now knows.

Last Thursday, apparently the Google data center in Mons (Bergen) was literally struck by lightning. Days later, an incident report was finally published, and this time the Google cloud clients were struck by lightning. Apparently, there is no business continuity – the ‘backup systems’ didn’t work – no disaster recovery – there is no replication to another data center – in short: no nothing!And they aren’t even from Barcelona, as far as I know. They have batteries, but they didn’t take over, which leaves me to think they have never been properly tested. This is, like, the minimum security one should be able to count on. On top of that, the incident report took days to be published, and, as a journalist informed us, there is no one available to talk to. Great service, don’t you think?

When you start reading the incident report, it gets even worse. It’s really the clients’ fault. Clients should not go for ‘GCE instances and Persistent Disks’ but for ‘GCE snapshots and Google Cloud Storage’. The incident report was specifically for the ‘Google Compute Engine’. So, even as a cloud client, you don’t have the protection of the so-called ‘Google Cloud Storage’? This, also, comes with big publicity budgets and a fancy website promising you heaven in the cloud: you probably sign off any responsibility that could be estimated theirs. Whatever happens, it’s your problem.

A tier 3 data center really means that all elements are ‘concurrently maintainable’. So every single part of our data centers can be shut down, without influencing the uptime of the data center. Google only offers tier 1, meaning that there is a lot less security. They could replicate to one of their other data centers, giving you at least that, but they don’t. The question is whether this would be a good enough solution, even if they would replicate, as there always is a latency – their data centers are far apart.

Whether the power is cut for ten seconds or a day, data loss is inevitable. Backup systems need to be tested – otherwise one can never be sure they really do take over seamlessly. Better yet than to rely on an American public cloud, is to go for a Belgian cloud provider. They are flexible, they work with data centers which are better secured (such as ours), and your data is protected by Belgian law. Some of our clients – cloud providers – are Combell, Evonet, Nucleus, Proact and RealDolmen. We like to advice our corporate and government customers and pass on leads to our systems integration and cloud infrastructure clients – that is one of our extra services. Contact me whenever, to discuss the best solution or an innovative idea for your company!

Want to read more about this? Have a look at our press statement:
French article
Dutch article

Laurens Van Reijen

Dear Belgian Systems Integrator. Is cloud computing in your comfort zone? If not, it better be some time soon!

Cartoon Cloud

Cloud is in. Any systems integrator you meet, will tell you that they offer cloud solutions, and that you should go cloud. With them, of course. And then… they spoil it all by telling you they resell Amazone (or so).

Dear Systems Integrator. If you don’t have any real knowledge of cloud infrastructure, enough to set up any cloud (yourself) that suits your customer, you might as well not bother. Apart from the fact that you need to be able to really service your client, by giving him extra capacity at his beck and call for instance, there’s the fact that your client may prefer his data to stay in Belgium, so under Belgian law.

One company that is doing really well, is Proact. They’ve recently launched an innovative hybrid cloud solution, housed by LCL data centers (of course). Our newsletter tells you all about that. Proact is comfortable within the cloud ecosystem; they know what they’re talking about. Another example to check out is Nucleus. They’ve been offering hosting solutions for a long time now, and are presently evolving to cloud solutions. In my opinion, Nucleus will be one of the major players in local public cloud solutions in the years to come. Check out this article for more info, in Dutch or French. Another party that has an interesting offering in cloud infrastructure, is Evonet. They’ve partnered with Alcatel-Lucent and Dell, and offer solid cloud infrastructure building blocks.

Let me be quite clear about this: cloud is here to stay, and if you miss this opportunity, I’m not sure you will be amongst the so called ‘fittest that will survive’… Want a chat about your options over a pint this summer? Mail me!

Have a great end of spring and… why not use the summer to get into the cloud?

Laurens Van Reijen