Amazon's fall from the cloud

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23 April 2011
Bart Narter
Amazon's cloud computing offering went down, bringing lots of other dot.coms down with it. I have never been a huge fan of cloud computing, as I explained in a previous blog post, Cloud or Fog? My concerns have always been around security. If you don't know on which server or in which data center your data is stored, how can you be certain that it is secure? Additionally, cloud has SLAs and meets them. Amazon offers an SLA of 99.9% Is that good enough for banks? Not being able to access or is unfortunate, but not tragic. Not being able to access your bank is rather a bigger issue. I doubt most banks would settle for three nines. My take on the cloud for banking has always been that banks are held to a higher standard, both in terms of security and availability. A breach in either will lead to massive reputational risk. That's why when banks go to "the cloud" they do so using service bureaus or shared data centers that have higher security and availability than required by the typical Having said that, if is down for an hour, consequences are enormous. Banks have outages as well, so let's not pretend we are perfect. We do need to be closer to perfection than the average cloud consumer, and until that reality changes, I'd stick with the service bureau or shared data center for mission critical applications.


  • Hi
    I am looking to find out if Capital markets trading platform and back office services can benefit from Cloud + HPC adoption.
    Currently in India capital markets run only for 6.5 hrs * 5 days. lot of time goes in post trade settlements, etc..
    Can the capital markets benefit by exploiting the infinite scale with High Performance Computing capability together to run some Capital markets for greater number of hrs and slowly may be 24*7*365 (wishful thinking)
    Would like to know your views, may be we can discuss this to build a solution/view point too...please let me know your views.
    I am on +91-976 55 65 057

  • I do see uses for the could in computationally intensive activities that are spiky. I cover retail and wholesale banking and don't have a firm view of how capital markets should use the cloud. If there is some serious analytics that can be run that doesn't require the exporting of proprietary data, go for it.

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