Interesting post at the All Things Distributed blog about location independence:
For many the “Cloud” in Cloud Computing signifies the notion of location independence; that somewhere in the internet services are provided and that to access them you do not need any specific knowledge of where they are located.
…However for developers to do their job properly the cloud cannot be fully transparent….For example a reality is that failures can happen; servers can crash and networks can become disconnected. Even if these are only temporary glitches and are transient errors, the developer of applications in the cloud really wants to make sure his or her application can continue to serve customers even in the face of these rare glitches. A similar issue is that of network latency; as much as we would like to see the cloud to be transparent, the transport of network packets is still limited to the speed of light (at best) and customers of cloud applications may experience a different performance depending on where they are located in relation to where the applications are running.
This is something that I hadn’t thought about before, and highlights the value of experience in providing these kinds of service.