A recent outage at a public cloud giant illustrates the accessibility concerns of public cloud service providers – and proves that even the briefest outage can mean big trouble in the cloud. The outage occurred when Gmail, Google's free email service, became unavailable for up to an hour on Jan. 24, CloudPro reported. According to a blog post from Google, the outage lasted approximately 25 minutes for most users, with a smaller percentage of users experiencing a roughly hour-long blackout.
Google blamed the outage on a software bug and said its engineers worked quickly to rectify the situation and restore service to users. In the wake of the bug, Google vice president Ben Treynor said the company is working to make sure a similar outage doesn't happen in the future.
"Our work is now focused on (a) removing the source of failure that caused today's outage, and (b) speeding up recovery when a problem does occur," Treynor wrote.
But the company's promise to take proactive outage prevention measures did little to allay widespread fear over public cloud security. Users took to Twitter in droves to express concern about the outage.
Among other concerns, the outage points to the lack of communication between public cloud service providers and their customers. At the same time that the outage occurred, Google happened to be hosting an Ask Me Anything forum on Reddit with its Site Reliability Engineering team. But even with this attempt at transparency, the SRE declined to comment directly on the outage, instead directing forum users to the company's app status dashboard.
Enterprise cloud minimizes outage risk
The enterprise cloud presents the best option for cloud users who want direct access to their data and transparency with their service provider. By joining the enterprise cloud, companies are given the power to design their own infrastructure. That means less reliance on the cloud provider's IT Department and more user agency.
Perhaps this agency goes toward explaining why people and organizations are joining the private cloud at a much higher rate than the public cloud, according to ReadWrite contributor Matt Asay. He cited a recent Forrester survey which found that 30 percent of respondents planned to join the private cloud versus a mere 10 percent for the public cloud. And businesses expressed interest in the private cloud by an even greater margin, with 44 percent reporting they will prioritize enterprise cloud growth in the coming year.