John C. Dvorak, who is anti cloud, had an interesting post entitled: The Cloud Fails Again. John lost his Internet connection for a while, and found himself dead in the water and thus another proof point that the cloud has a clear downside.
"Then along comes the Internet. The Internet brought with it a couple of interesting dimensions. First, it required everyone to get used to networking. The Internet was the world's biggest network. Anyone who wanted on needed to learn and accept computer networks as commonplace. The new mindset led to the reversal of computer evolution back toward mainframe computing--only now it's known as "cloud computing." The priests seem to have beaten back that trend toward individualism that began in 1975."
To be honest Dvorak has a point. One of the downsides of cloud computing is that it's dependent on connectivity. No connectivity, no cloud. At least public cloud.
I tell my clients the same thing I'm telling you. You have to plan for the loss of connectivity when considering leveraging cloud computing for your major business systems, and mediate the risks as much as you can. It's just a business continuity strategy with a few new dimensions.
So, how do you do that? First, plan on what needs to occur if connectivity is lost to your cloud or clouds. This typically means leveraging some sort of on premise system using data that's been recently synchronized from your cloud provider. Typically a laptop or two, or a single server left in the data center.
If you think this diminishes the value of cloud computing, to some extent you're right. It really goes to the value of the business application, or how much money is lost if you're down for any amount of time. If it's high, than you have to make sure to build the cost of data synchronization and maintaining a back-up on-site system when your router begins to blink red. Also, you should ask yourself in these situations if cloud computing is indeed a fit.
Fortunately, these days, connectivity issues are few and far between. However, you have to consider the risks involved in leveraging any type of computing model, cloud computing include. Then, you simple manage the risks. Nothing new about that.