Over the past few days, a couple of blog posts have addressed the issue of reliability of Web-based applications. John C. Dvorak of PC Magazine cited the example of Windows Genuine Advantage's weekend outage in which Microsoft's WGA server was out for 19 hours this past weekend, and Dvorak drew the conclusion, "All this proves is that these Web-based applications cannot be trusted." Dvorak also discussed the threat to software-as-a-service in that server outages would cause massive downtime to a large number of users.
Matt Asay, of CNET's Open Road Blog, commented on Dvorak's post saying that customers in the SaaS world are 100% helpless if something goes wrong, because they don't have the code and don't have IT staff who can go in to troubleshoot the outage--meaning companies are completely reliant on the vendor. But then, TalkBack posters cried FUD and pointed out that outage risks could be managed and the real concerns of SaaS were security and IP.
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