While I am a big fan of Cloud Computing, it must be noted that there is a dark side. Salesforce.com, which provides hosted customer relationship management services, suffered a 38 minute service outage on January 6, 2009. While many want to shout and scream that this was a terrible problem, it was ultimately as damaging as a power outage.
The majority of quality cloud computing service companies maintain 99.99% reliability. This means that outages are sufficiently rare that they are negligible. Utility services will suffer occasional outages. That is just the nature of the beast. However, for the cost benefits, these outages are completely acceptable.
And the beauty is if the outages are too frequent and directly imapct your business, you pull up stakes and go somewhere else. So, a word to the wise, be aware that the Cloud Paradigm offers phenomenal cost saving opportunities but it also includes a few risks you should be aware of.