Since its inception, the cloud has suffered outages. It was to be expected. And while it was a nuisance, the fallout was minimal. That all changed in April 2011 when Amazon suffered a catastrophic cloud outage that took some of its top cloud customers offline for several days. What followed was radio silence from the massive provider that finally broke its silence after several days and blamed the downtime on a re-mirroring storm and offered customers an apology and a credit. After Amazon, a host of other cloud providers suffered similar outages. Microsoft's BPOS and Office 365 suites of cloud apps suffered several bouts of downtime; some Google cloud services crumbled, including Gmail, Google App Engine and Google Docs; and many others like Intuit, Jive and Yahoo all battled failures. Amazon even suffered another couple before the year closed. But it was Amazon's first major stumble in April that set the town and called into question whether cloud computing is a reliable IT strategy on which to hang your hat.