Yes, there will always be some risks associated with any hosting option. You are relying on the resiliency and engineering of infrastructure that has scaled at an astounding rate.
So far, downtime has been extremely limited, and the cloud infrastructure of the major providers has exceeded physical infrastructure (when properly configured for redundancy in multiple regions). However, it’s always possible that the cloud could collapse on itself either due to an attack or even a simple engineering mistake.
Let’s be honest, this is possible with non-cloud infrastructure as well. We’ve had bad routes, upstream providers, and power issues cause more than a few minutes of downtime over the years. The most risk-sensitive approach is a hybrid solution of premise and cloud for highly critical applications. There is a good possibility that whatever circumstances take out a major portion of the Amazon or Google Cloud will also take out physical infrastructure. But simply having physical infrastructure will certainly give you more options in the event of an emergency.
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1 Are there differences in application architecture that are important for the cloud?
It is important to build applications and workloads specifically for the cloud. You will want to carefully consider what services the cloud provider of your choice has to offer and how your application leverages those services.
1 What’s the benefit of hosting in the cloud vs. traditional options?
Reasons not to host in the cloud are few and far between. If you don't host in the cloud, you will spend more in both CapEx and OpEx to manage your applications or websites in a traditional environment.
1 How can I improve the performance of my application?
There are several primary reasons that applications perform poorly, and in some cases it’s a combination of several. 1) Data latency: If your application is making calls to a data source (whether it’s an API or a direct call) and there is latency at the data provider, your application performance will suffer.
The answer is ‘probably yes’. There aren’t many reasons for an application to be hosted elsewhere, aside from occasional compliance standards, or requirements to integrate with local services that would require large amounts of data to move from on-premise to cloud.