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back to article Google code cloud punts on-demand embarrassment

Last week, users of Google App Engine - Google's application hosting platform - discovered a new feature in the product: downtime. App Engine was offline for roughly six hours, and for much of that time, even the status page which tells users about downtime was unavailable. Now that's a strong way to send a message. As a …

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Silver badge

Striking the Bulls Eye

"App Engine developers must go through the effort to contort their program to Google's data storage mechanism, which in some cases can be a far cry from SQL. The benefit to this is that you don't have to worry about scalability, ever. Allegedly. It's sort of like how a heroin addiction means that you don't have to worry about reality, ever."

Ted, that is a virtual gem of an observation and why El Reg is held in such high alien regard. :-)

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Quality sarcasm - thanks for confirming my opinion

I liked this line in particular: "As with anything that flies through a cloud, Google App Engine can suffer a double flame-out and crash to the ground, killing hundreds and swearing a large subset of the population off of air travel for quite some time"

Could I suggest you guys nuke the Dell white paper supplied by El Reg from this self same site that suggest we should all go Google and Dell services for email? It "proves" cloud email is cheaper, and diligently side-steps mentioning things such as offline access and, above all, security (I think the word appears once in the whole article - it's a fantastic line of BS). Do you, as someone who has to comply with, say, HIPAA or even just the UK DPA 1998, want to tell ye olde regulator that you "thought it was alright, guv' " when it inevitably blows up in your face?

If you have in principle zero control over your vendor/hoster and they are not compelled to do anything right either you are asking for trouble, either operational or legal. And it's not "if", it's "when".

Here's a tip: if you absolutely, positively, no-I-cannot-argue-with-the-MBA-idiot have to outsource, maybe do it in a country that actually enforces some laws and is not part of the "we-must-all spy-on-each-other" club. There are plenty of email hosting providers in Switzerland that have to operate under both Data Protection as well as banking secrecy laws.

Use one of those and you will at least not have a backdoor into your IP when a UK or US gov official decides you're the terrorist of the week (in the UK that is usually a council trying to chase dog poop or something). And they stick to the contracts you have with them.

The only problem is - it still doesn't fix having the kit out of the door. Exchange is even less usable in outsourced mode, and every internal email goes across the WAN too - make sure it's at least using SSL..

Good article..

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FAIL

Head In The Clouds

6 Hours this time, 2(up to 22) hours in February, only 1 hour in January, 15 hours last August, another hour last July. Sounds like this "cloud" idea is a real winner.

I gotta get some sleep, don't have time to list all all the Amazon 3G outages in the last year.

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Flame

Why is this even close to being news?

Ted scrive: "I'll go out on a limb here. Hosting production services on platforms like App Engine is never a good idea."

Ya think?

::wanders off, muttering::

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WTF?

Way to go with a tasteless analogy...

"As with anything that flies through a cloud, Google App Engine can suffer a double flame-out and crash to the ground, killing hundreds and swearing a large subset of the population off of air travel for quite some time. "

Yeah - the unavailability of a cloud computing service really is equivalent to hundreds of people losing their lives in an airline crash.

How did that thought never cross my mind before? Thanks for putting me on the right track...

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WTF?

VM must love you guys

Virgin's server side services go down all the time, and you never mention them....

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Alert

cloud

hahah, errors too scale worderfully?

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WTF?

Engineers ?

"Google's sell really appeals to the engineers, but I hope that the decision makers can see through the bullshit."

T'other way round shurely ?

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Unhappy

Jeeze, such language

Now, I'm usually game for a little foul language, but did the author just step off the pickup basketball court?

Common on, easy with the swearing.

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Spurious political jibes...

...In an article such as this add nothing to your point about the subject at hand and alienate some of your readers. Of course there will be a great many readers who will lap up any references to supposed Bush/Cheney/Palin stupidities, but there will also be many who instantly perceive the bias, and wonder how deep it goes. Whenever I recognize a writer's liberal/socialist bent, I suspect their judgement is also faulty in all other areas.

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Happy

Only one f@ck today?

where are you hiding the real Ted?...

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Alert

The End of the World is Nigh.

It must be. Ted has finally submitted a rant that actually makes some sense, instead of his usual vitriolic drivel.

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The truth is...

...they were running an old version of McAfee.

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Wow...

I usually find your stories silly and laugh at them.. I reckoned that was what this column was for.

This one actually made a very valid point.

My compliments.

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Ho humm

There was a certain inevitability about this train wreck scenario which should embarrass everyone concerned. As mentioned in the article, the whole point of having your applications 'in the cloud' is that they are available everywhere/everywhen so an outage should be an extremely unusual event and should also have a clearly definable cause. This is a business model that is reliant of tacking as many 9's as possible after the decimal point in 99.99%+ uptime and early adopters are the people who will say whether your models thrives or dies, and if it dies so do the next few regardless of their technical merits.

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Good article, but weak on the slang

"Shit got ill" means that things improved immensely, as in "This shit got ill, when I hit 4 mil".

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@anon later

"Whenever I recognize a writer's liberal/socialist bent, I suspect their judgement is also faulty "

You might want to consider the ludicrousness of that remark, which roughly translates "whenever I disagree with someone's politics, for no good reason I distrust their technical judgement even though there's no logic to that beyond my being biassed to heck myself."

Obtopical - dang right there's no such thing as automatic magic scalability - you've simply paid for some extra in advance and not used it for the last XX months. But one could test this out for oneself: get some friendly hackers to DDOS your site with a billion requests and see if your virtual server magically grows to a billion servers....

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etc

"but I hope that the decision makers can see through the bullshit."

Oh, Ted, always a dreamer!

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@Apocalypse Later

"but there will also be many who instantly perceive the bias, and wonder how deep it goes. "

Why should we give a fuck about your sensibilities? I don't see right-wingers moderating their language. I suspect that you might be an American as well, which makes your comment even more offensive.

"Whenever I recognize a writer's liberal/socialist bent"

Which do you mean? Liberalism and socialism are very different things. Oh, by "liberal" you mean the right-wing, biased, nonsense word, not the thing most of us have been fighting for for the last 500+ years. What's sauce for the goose, Old Boy.

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I lawled

Had my bi-annual reading of fail and you. Oh poor Ted he just just gets further and further in the deep end of the nutty pool. I may have to take up reading his stuff more often now because it's the lunacy has finally arced over totally annoying and into kinda funny.

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Re: Spurious political jibes...

Apocalypse Later: "Whenever I recognize a writer's liberal/socialist bent, I suspect their judgement is also faulty in all other areas."

I doubt that most of the planet has any interest whatsoever in an judgement assessment coming from an individual banging on about "liberal bias" or words to that effect, whose idea of socialism probably came from a Disney cartoon (and who regards the current US administration as "socialist" despite the previous administration breaking all previous records in interventionism, and despite Obama and company being way outside any normal boundaries of socialism, ideologically), and who is presumably still sucking their thumb and stamping their foot about McCain/Palin not being able to impose some narrow and divisive brand of "traditionalism" on the American people, spilling out across the planet like a dirty oil slick with the flavour of the previous failed administration.

Why not whine about the "liberal media" being a "filter", too? That would underline the lack of any originality in your merit-free critique of the article.

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@Apocalypse Later

"Whenever I recognize a writer's liberal/socialist bent, I suspect their judgement is also faulty "

That's funny. Liberal != Socialist and I seriously doubt you know what either word really represents anyway. You should try to learn what words mean before you use them to accuse others of having faulty judgement.

Thank you, however, for reminding us all that with freedom of speech comes the freedom to look like an ill-informed idiot.

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@Apocalypse Later

Mmm, neocon tears: sweet, refreshing, delicious. Thanks for allowing me to enjoy my daily dose of schadenfreude!

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FAIL

Wasn't it just last month?

That Google was saying how much better GFS is than anything Microsoft has?

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Anonymous Coward

POP3/goomail problems

Anyone had probs accessing gmail through pop? I have an account I read through popcorn, a micro email pop reader, and new mail is coming in and I can see it in the webmail page but not through popcorn. Started about 2 weeks ago.

Just me?

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Heh

I seem to have upset the left-wing portion of the audience a little. Good.

Yes, I do mean that those who believe the liberal/socialist agenda is workable in the real world are suffering from faulty mental processes. Nothing less can explain the error. And of course this inability to reason sensibly will indeed affect their judgement in areas besides politics. But that need not stop such people doing useful work- if they just leave the political asides out of their commentary on sport, the arts, weather, technical reviews and news items of a non-political nature, it will be more difficult to spot the fools. Unfortunately, being fools, they can't resist inserting these revealing little jibes.

@John Dee- No I am not an American, and it wasn't me that objected to the use of immoderate language. I do think the use of it is another mistake for a writer, unless they are a dramatist perhaps.

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Stop

Not seeing one problem

About not giving out details of the outage. Your supervisor needs to know the technical reasons, but your customers and users do not. One of the arguments for using cloud computing is that you no longer have to manage your own servers. It doesn't matter what hardware or software is being used, as long as it works correctly. If the problem has been fixed and won't happen again, that's all you need to know.

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FAIL

Fail and Ted

He used the 'cloud' word in a non derisory manner!

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Joke

@Apocalypse Later

You've also upset this right wing loony as you're giving the rest of us a bad name.

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Deary Me.

"I seem to have upset the left-wing portion of the audience a little. Good."

Does it make you feel like John Wayne?

"Yes, I do mean that those who believe the liberal/socialist agenda is"

Which liberal agenda are you referring to? Market liberalism? Conservative liberalism? Christian liberalism? Yeah .. you really don't have a fucking clue do you?

"workable in the real world"

Tell me, how is corporatism doing these days as a workable philosophy?

"are suffering from faulty mental processes. Nothing less can explain the error. And of course this inability to reason sensibly will indeed affect their judgement in areas besides politics. "

But you keep showing that _you_ cannot reason. You disagree with someone's value judgment and mistake that for faulty reasoning. A premise can be wrong and the argument can still be right. This is the first lesson of Logic 101. You are a fucktard of the highest order.

"if they just leave the political asides"

You need to leave comment on politics to people who actually know what some of the words mean and you need to leave the reasoning to people who know how to reason.

"No I am not an American"

Then what is your excuse for not knowing what "liberal" means in British English? Can I make a stab at the sort of newspaper you read? Is is the Daily Illiterate Fearful Shitwit?

"It wasn't me that objected to the use of immoderate language. I do think the use of it is another mistake for a writer, unless they are a dramatist perhaps."

Your sensibilities regarding Sarah Palin, you tit.

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re:Deary Me

It's like you said everything I wanted to say, except I pronounced it:

tee hee, what a cock!

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Pint

I liked the plane joke

Well Ted I feel like you've improved! Have a beer.

And to Apocalypse Later, it's not biased to make fun of Palin. People from every part of the political spectrum know she's a little...ditzy. And picking her as the VP candidate ensured a Democratic victory.

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@Apocalypse Later

Ok, I'll bite, even though everyone else seems to have beaten me to it. You keep putting liberalism and socialism into the same boat. Classic Liberalism is a philosophy that believes in small government, individual freedoms, and free markets. Socialism is about significant state control, hence large government, and enforced equality for all (flatter wage structures etc.). So socialism is very different to liberalism. Your conflation of the 2 concepts shows a deep lack of understanding, and makes you into the biggest fail I've seen on these forums in a long time.

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Coffee/keyboard

CBG

Best Dziubaism Ever.

@Kanhef: Hello, you must be new to the world of software development. The customers *do* need to know. Everyone gives some details out about failures. That's how the customers gauge reliability of a company. A company that slaps an eternal beta onto their product names and is always tight lipped about failures or snafus is not a trustworthy company. I understand that this may go against the fanboi credo if you are one, but my advice to you is - never form your own company.

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A fail and you I liked. Shurely shome mishtake?

Day-umn, Ted, there's been more abuse aimed at someone elses negative comment than at your article. A first for a F&Y post, surely?

Actually, I usually think Fail and You is a vehicle for your self-righteous drivel, but I liked/agreed with this one:

1. It made sense, and;

2. your swear box only has a couple of quid in it.

I don't know if that means you consider you missed your target audience? :)

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