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So, to avoid emailing every member and potentially losing some, lets move the cloud/server and maybe Startup meetup here.  Tommy may want to add a discussion post on that.  This is a test..

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The goal of this discussion was too not only get more in depth about the subject but to take it off the main page and avoid emailing everyone on every post. Success on both fronts from my perspective, thanks all. I learned more and got insight I didn't have before.
That's interesting. At the same time EMC is shutting down it's own cloud storage solution "Atmos Online" barely a year past launch: http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/07/emcs-atmos-shutdown-sh...
To be fair to EMC, that Atmos was an odd move for them, their primary focus has been industry for a long time, acting as a storage equipment vendor. Moving into selling cloud storage themselves is quite a business focus change and to my mind something on that scale needs a lot more push than they gave it.

It does also emphasise the critical point about cloud services: Just because it is there today, doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. If you build your solution in the cloud, factor in redundancies. Any even half way reasonable sysadmin will tell you never to build a system with a SIngle Point Of Failure, and just one 'cloud' provider classifies as a SPOF. Spread your services across many. Yes it'll cost more but in the end it's the only way to gain reliability. Cloud makes it decidedly easy to factor in redundancies, especially with things like Amazon's API becoming a sort of defacto standard for providers. Build your deployment systems right and you probably won't even see the difference.

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