Following the Skype outage
last week and the big SF data center outage
last month, Business Week is exploring the fact that today's technology is often at the "good enough" level
, rather than being designed to withstand a nuclear attack. We've certainly had previous examples of this as well. What may be more interesting, however, is that people are basically creating their own redundancies, rather than leaving it up to the service providers. In other words, redundancy is getting decentralized. Rather than making sure that a service provider can keep mission critical services up at all times, we're all learning to create our own personal backup plans. In the article, it discusses how Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim
basically "backed up" his Skype phone account with his mobile phone. This is true in other areas as well. I have a DSL connection at home, but if it goes down (all too often, unfortunately) I have both an EV-DO account and a (in those really desperate times) dialup account. My email is available at a web-based service... but also downloaded to a local client. In other words, knowing that many of these services are really only "good enough" I (and many others) have simply started creating out own backup system for mission critical services. Of course, many of these redundancies offer additional features and benefits, but it's certainly distributed the "general uptime" responsibility out to the end-users rather than the central service providers.