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Cloud Idle

Survey Reveals a Majority Believe "the Cloud" Is Affected by Weather 261

SmartAboutThings writes "In a recent survey performed by Wakefield Research, it has been discovered that the majority of the surveyed Americans are quite confused about the notion of Cloud, when it relates to Cloud Storage/Computing. The most interesting fact is that 51% of the surveyed persons thought that stormy weather interferes with cloud computing!"
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Survey Reveals a Majority Believe "the Cloud" Is Affected by Weather

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  • It does (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:51PM (#41173183)

    When that stormy weather takes out power supplies to the data centres.

  • It isn't? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:52PM (#41173189)
    Didn't we have a story in the last couple weeks about Amazon's cloud servers getting taken out by a large storm and the resulting power outage or something like that?
    • Re:It isn't? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:59PM (#41173255)
      Okay, found the link: []

      "An Amazon Web Services data center in northern Virginia lost power Friday night during an electrical storm, causing downtime for numerous customers â" including Netflix"

      So the east coast has a big storm, power goes out, and the cloud goes down, and somehow people are drawing the conclusion that stormy weather can have an adverse effect on the cloud? It's possible they're confused about how big a storm is required, the article doesn't address that point, but clearly the idea isn't crazy.
    • Re:It isn't? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:02PM (#41173281) Homepage Journal

      Yes. The people who believe storms may disrupt cloud computing are 100% correct. Not only can they, but there is a history of it.

      As for not knowing what the cloud is, I'd argue that they're in the same boat as marketing and the media that pumps out the breathless cloud stories 24/7.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, a huge data center in Ireland was knocked out by a severe storm last year, causing major disruptions. Why people seem to think Cloud computing = distributed computing I have no idea. See

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly... I'm more worried about the ones who think cloud computing is NOT impacted by weather. If some random person walked up to me on the street and asked me this, I'd say, "sure, it can", and I'm quite technical.

      This seems much like the hand-writing shocked headlines announcing that most Americans think humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time... the only problem being that we DID exist at the same time. Paleontologists consider modern birds to be dinosaurs, so most people are quite correct.

      Pale []

      • by xevioso ( 598654 )

        Yes but in the second instance, the correct follow up would be, "Do you think birds are dinosaurs", and if a majority answered no, than the original implication of ignorance on a large part of America would be correct.

        • I'd say a large part of America simultaneously believes birds aren't dinosaurs, and that birds didn't evolve from them, since they feel in their gut that life as we know it today is the exact same as it was when created by god 6000 years ago when the earth wasn't around, but the ocean was.

        • Yes but in the second instance, the correct follow up would be, "Do you think birds are dinosaurs", and if a majority answered no, than the original implication of ignorance on a large part of America would be correct.

          Birds are not dinosaurs, any more than humans are single cell protozoans. If you truly believe in macroevolution, of the kind that can create new species and animals from existing ones, then you must believe that things CHANGE over time. That is, they aren't the same anymore. You must answer "no" to that question if you are to be honest.

          And if you don't believe in macroevolution, just microevolution (the kind that causes birds to develop different beaks to deal with different environments, but they are st

      • Er -- perhaps you don't understand the meaning of "clade". Being in a clade of dinosaurs doesn't mean that they are dinosaurs. Humans will be in the clade of some ancient eukaryote, but that doesn't make us eukaryotes.
      • Re:It isn't? (Score:4, Informative)

        by ArsenneLupin ( 766289 ) on Thursday August 30, 2012 @08:09AM (#41176925)

        Paleontologists regard birds as the only clade of dinosaurs to have survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 65.5 Ma ago

        Methinks somebody didn't understand (nor look up) what the word clade [] means.

        Basically, a clade is a group consisting of a species (extinct or extant) and all its descendants.

        So the sentence "Paleontologists regard birds as the only clade of dinosaurs to have survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 65.5 Ma ago." is just a fancy way of saying that birds are the only living things to have descended from dinosaurs (as opposed to also reptiles). Indeed, the reptile species living today are not descendant from the dinosaurs, but are different lineage []. However the birds are.

  • by Nightlight3 ( 248096 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:54PM (#41173207)

    Recent outages of AWS and other providers demonstrate that weather does affect the "Cloud" platforms.

    • I wonder what affects the cloud more; the weather, or the temperament of government. I for one, welcome mother nature before her disaffected authoritarian underlords.
  • by MarcoAtWork ( 28889 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:54PM (#41173209)

    ... that believes that the cloud is this magical place disconnected from the utility grid, immune to lightning strikes, floods, storm surges, etc. etc.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      Marketing can be blamed for that 49%.

    • Fuck the cloud. All my data is in Heaven administered by God! Nothing can go wrong. Everything is where it should be. Simply perfect.

      "Heaven. Are you good enough?"

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Exactly... At first blush, as someone in IT, my gut would be a resounding "yes".

      One of the big "risk factors" I attach to cloud and any offsite solutions is that they are by definition only accessible when internet connectivity is established.

      Generally the ONLY time my office internet access goes down is during bad weather. Snow, wind, lightning can take down internet. My choices here are satellite, ADSL, and fixed point-to-point wireless. And all 3 are disrupted by enough snow, wind, rain, and lightning. A

  • by colin_faber ( 1083673 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @06:55PM (#41173215)
    Surveys suggest most surveys are wrong :)
  • by Anonymous Coward

  • by JWW ( 79176 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:00PM (#41173261)

    Ironically, one of the bigger outages we had where our AWS instances went down was due to ..... weather.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:01PM (#41173269) Homepage
    BOFH collection, which includes but is not limited to:
    blade computing requires routine sharpening
    grid computing can sometimes get out of alignment and needs to be centered and degaussed sometimes
    clustered computing includes a creamy nougat center
    network degradation can be attributed to stains on the network fabric that didnt come out after the last wash
    the datacenter certification plaque specifies the air pressure for the tires as well as the type of oil to be used in the cloud
  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:01PM (#41173271) Homepage Journal
    should read:

    Survey Reveals a Majority Know "the Cloud" Is Affected by Weather, Along With Pretty Much Everything Else

  • professionals don't know what cloud computing is either, so all-in-all things are about the same as the always were..

  • Packet storms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:04PM (#41173305)

    Funny they list facebook, twitter, online photo sharing, online banking and shopping as "the cloud". It would be interesting to hear from TFA what on the Internet does not count as "the cloud" ?

    Had noticed TFA is making fun of people who think stormy weather can "interfere with the functionality of the cloud" when just a few weeks ago an electrical storm triggered a massive outage in the Amazon "cloud".

    For icing on my cloud cake we have marketeers commenting about how everyone has a favorable view of the cloud when the only thing that seems clear is too many people including the author does not seem to have a coherent grasp of what it is their talking about.

    • It would be interesting to hear from TFA what on the Internet does not count as "the cloud" ?

      Absolutely nothing. "The Cloud" is the in, new buzzword, and thus Marketing is making sure that whatever they're selling, it's part of The Cloud. Coming your way, Cloud-enabled galoshes! You can order them over the Internet!

  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:07PM (#41173331)

    Bad weather can knock "the cloud" offline or make access unreliable, Bad weather can knock down suspended power and data lines, interrupting access between you and the cloud. It can flood service tunnels, basement and first floor switches and short out improperly sealed equipment.

  • stormy weather can degrade the quality of your connection.
  • To be fair, when it rains, the internet at my house goes out when it rains. Maybe all of these 51% of people surveyed live in the ghetto too?

  • The Cloud is *such* a wonderful metaphor, especially good for Joe Average Citizen who never had any ph0rkin idea what went on "on the internet" in the first place.

    Not only is The Cloud impacted by weather (lightning strikes, electrical failures, overheating Data Centres etc) but it also has a non-trivial impact on Global Climate.

    Scientists are still debating whether it's a net INCREASE or DECREASE in global temperature (DCs can be MUCH more power efficient than individual businesses running their own serv
  • I play EQ2, quite often someone will say, we are having thunderstorms, might lose power.

    So, all those people who lose power to storms might just think that the cloud can lose power in storms.

    I know better, but I also live in a city, and don't tend to lose power.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      So, all those people who lose power to storms might just think that the cloud can lose power in storms.

      Anything that interferes with the internet between you and the service disrupts your ability to use the service. Weather impacts on internet links both big and small all the time. Are the actual computers running the service likely to go down? No... but a lightning strike on their internet connection... or yours... or any link between you will make them as good as down.

  • by wanderfowl ( 2534492 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:20PM (#41173425)

    I've said it before [], and I'll say it again. Every instance of "In the Cloud", facing a naive end user, should be replaced with "On somebody else's computer". This study shows that people have absolutely no idea what The Cloud is, and that might, just maybe, be affecting their choice of what to upload to it. "I keep our business records in the cloud" sounds sane, but “Oh, don’t worry, all of our business information is backed up on somebody else’s computer” doesn't.

    • by starfishsystems ( 834319 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @09:38PM (#41174475) Homepage
      A useful distinction can be made between Public Cloud and Private Cloud, and it puts the matter on firmer technical ground.

      Private Cloud is when the hardware is yours. It lives inside your firewall and is subject to your security practices. Public Cloud, conversely, is not yours.

      Having cleared up that detail, we can talk about what makes it a "cloud" and not just a bunch of services running who-really-cares-where. Essentially, it comes about as a consequence of virtualization. There's a qualitative difference between saying, "I need to buy a server with X capacity in order to run my application," and creating an instance of your application in a cloud. Yes, they both ultimately depend on hardware capacity, but there is a separation of concerns between the abstract resources that your app needs and how they are physically provided. You tend not to think about servers any more but about instances of things. It encourages a more modular, more fluid way of solving problems.

      For example, I've been talking with one of my colleagues this week about setting up a package repository. That's a server which delivers software packages for clients to install. New packages have to be added to the repository automatically, and they have to be signed. Now, this raises the awkward question of where to maintain the private key used for signing each change to the repository. We found ourselves having to rule out all of the possible algorithmic options. The essential requirement is that the signing has to be encapsulated inside something that can peform computations. What we really need is a specially hardened server that does nothing but sign changes to the repo. But who can afford to buy a whole server just for that one narrow purpose? If the server is virtual, the resource issue goes away.

      Of course, other issues remain. Just as there is an inherent security risk in having unrestricted access to a physical server, there is risk in having comparable access to a virtual server. In principle, disaster recovery in a virtualized environment ought to be more robust than in a physical one, because you can maintain a perfect digital record of everything that went into creating that environment. But even if you keep that record offsite in multiple bank vaults, if you have never tried to actually bring up and test a virtual environment with it, you may be in for a big surprise.

      So I don't want to do what the marketing people do and say that cloud solutions are magically wonderful. There's a useful separation of concerns in a cloud solution that, I believe, leads to a more elegant way of approaching design problems. And there's a big difference between private and public cloud that the people selling public cloud services don't really like to talk about. As to whether a cloud solution has specific advantages for you, I think one of the most surprising results is that it comes with a change of thinking.
  • by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:24PM (#41173457) Journal
    The root cause of this belief is what allows companies to sell cloud computing.
  • Yeah, most people are clueless about the Internet. But that said, it's also true that polls are easily skewed by the wording of a poll question, or the way it is asked.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @07:30PM (#41173489)

    ahahah let's all laugh at the ignorance of the masses... I'm sure there are plenty of lawyers/doctors/plumbers that laugh at the /. crowd for their lack of knowledge...

    Most people in IT can't agree on the same definition of cloud, or what it is and what it is not. Is cloud an application, infrastructure, platform, API? It can be.

    In other news...

    Most Americans think RAID is a bug spray.

  • As weather effects my cable connection ..

  • 51%? So what this tells me is that a majority of respondents didn't understand enough to care, or didn't care enough to understand and provided random answers. This is what happens when you take squishy social science methodologies and put them in the hands of even squishier marketing consultancies. Just bend the scientific method over and shove a white paper up it's ass.
  • Half the population also believes in all sorts of things when they shouldn't.

    I wonder how much overlap there is between the various stupid halves? Anyone have a venn diagram?

  • "Cloud" computing was always rooted in meaningless sales jargon created by the same kind of non-tech people in the tech industry who gave us all the other pundit phrases you read at VentureBeat et al. It's a snappy one-syllable name, so all the marketing monkeys at other tech companies soon caught on, then Apple introduced iCloud, and now we're stuck with this bullshit for a good five years. Until "Coconut" or something else catches on.

    Expecting an average person to know that "Cloud" doesn't actually mean t

  • by RNLockwood ( 224353 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:54PM (#41174171) Homepage

    No way! I don't know if Stormy Weather is alive but if she is she must be in her 70s. Bump, grind, BUMP - there goes another server off line! More bumps, grinds, etc and whoops there goes her top. What a rack! STACK OVERFLOW.

  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @08:59PM (#41174219) Homepage Journal
    We just had a cloudless day around here. I wonder how well cloud computing works on such days. How would parts of the cloud communicate with each other?

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.