What can you do to minimize your risks? In the final analysis, not much; this problem is underacknowledged and overdue for attention. But you can try to apply three principles to your situation.
Secondly, ensure your provider is not a monoculture. Select providers that deploy open source software in documented ways, so you always have the freedom to leave. Avoid solutions where the only company enjoying software freedom is your provider. Favor open source software which is community-backed rather than controlled by your provider. Your provider may be concerned that you are escaping its lock-in and charge you more, but it's worth paying extra to get the additional value software freedom creates.
Finally, create a backup plan for how you would operate the service in the event your provider suspends its agreements with you. Consider having a backup provider or even a "private cloud" available and keep copies of your runtime environment in VMs ready for deployment. That may seem like a lot of effort and expense to cover a fairly remote possibility, but when you outsource all or part of your business to the cloud, you don't want to cede the freedom to run your business in the bargain.
This article, "Cloud providers ready to strike with nuclear option," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of the Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.