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How to Survive a Cloud Outage

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure your mission-critical apps survive a cloud outage

Cloud computing solutions offer organizations tremendous opportunities for efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. They also create some scenarios in which a business can find themselves in trouble. A single cloud outage can shut an organization down, for example.

While it may seem unlikely that a provider will experience a severe interruption of service, it’s important to realize that it does happen. Amazon Web Services, for example, experienced a four-day outage for some of its clients in 2010. That kind of outage can grind business to a halt.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure your mission-critical apps survive a cloud outage. Here are some procedures you need to put in place as soon as possible:

  1. Take advantage of cloud provider options. Some providers will offer you multiple availability zones or multiple availability regions. What this boils down to is that your particular solution is being housed in multiple locations, each independent of a disaster at the other. This usually results in a premium, but in many critical applications it will be worth it.
  2. Consider multiple providers. Sometimes, especially with mission-critical applications, you can develop a multi-provider architecture. To be sure, you need to do some investigation here; some cloud providers are actually likely to share data center resources with each other. It doesn’t do you any good to have multiple providers if each is relying on the same physical location to provide you services.
  3. Include availability in your service level agreement. Whenever possible, you need to make sure that your SLA outlines specific consequences when there is a disruption in service. Define an acceptable level of availability for the given cloud application. For example, if you’re relying on a cloud provider to give you disaster recovery services, you might require 99.999% availability.
  4. Think twice before putting some applications into the cloud. If you’re not willing to take the risk and do what needs to be done to insure availability or survive an outage, you may not be ready for public cloud solutions. It’s not that cloud solutions can’t meet your needs; you just need to go in with eyes wide open and be ready to accept the associated risks.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.

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