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Intuit SaaS Outage: Comparing Car Crashes to Plane Crashes  [ MSPmentor ]
June 18, 2010 06:51 AM

Posted June 17, 2010 by Joe Panettieri

About a week or two ago, I heard an interesting theory stating that cloud computing is far more reliable than on-premises systems. I happen to believe the theory, and I figured I’d share it with you now. Why? Because plenty of people are talking about this week’s Intuit SaaS outage. Despite the Intuit outage, we’re still betting our media business on the cloud. Here’s why.

First, the news hook: This week’s Intuit setback involved some big-name brands — TurboTax Online, QuickBooks Online, Quicken and QuickBase. Small businesses, including a few dozen MSPmentor readers that sent us emails, were impacted by the outage. Intuit has since apologized and posted a message explaining the outage.

For many small businesses, Intuit’s outage was painful. And plenty of people have felt SaaS and cloud pain in recent months. From to Microsoft’s BPOS, numerous infrastructure providers and SaaS platforms have gone dark since 2009.

Car Crashes vs. Plane Crashes

But here’s an interesting perspective: During the recent Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, one guest speaker made the following point.

  • On-premises systems are like cars. They crash all the time. However, nobody really talks about the crashes because they happen in isolation — in individual offices and homes across the globe. We’ve all seen a car crash. We’ve all seen a PC crash. We’re largely numb to the events because they happen all the time.
  • Cloud systems are like airplanes. The best cloud systems are well-engineered and rarely crash. But when they do crash it triggers headlines because a community of people express a common pain.

Generally speaking, I agree with both assertions.

Don’t get me wrong:  We all want our cloud and SaaS providers to deliver even better service level agreements. And when you’re waiting on a SaaS application that goes dark, minutes feel like hours. But overall the SaaS market is growing up — fast — despite this week’s setback at Intuit.