Many businesses taking advantage of the rise of cloud computing services have worked on the assumption that they no longer have to worry about system outages, business continuity or disaster recovery. A spate of cloud service outages over the past few months has shown that to be a flawed assumption.
Cloud service providers can certainly provide a greater level of redundancy and use better quality components and design than small to medium businesses, so downtime for cloud services would be expected to be less than the average SMB’s in-house system. However, over the last few months, the likes of cloud service providers Amazon, Google Apps, Microsoft Online Services and Yahoo Mail have all suffered outages, not to mention many smaller cloud service providers.
This just goes to show that there will always be system outages, whether you use cloud services or keep your systems in-house. Smart businesses will plan for such outages to limit the impact on their operations.
TechRepublic have posted some tips for how businesses should prepare for cloud outages. One important aspect to consider is how a cloud service provider will provide support during an inevitable outage. If a provider answers this question with guarantees that their service will never go down, that should set alarm bells ringing.
Having a Plan B is also vital. Cloud outages are usually brief, but there have been instances of major cloud services being unavailable for days, so you need to know how your business will continue to operate if that happens to you.
There are some big benefits to making use of the right cloud services for the right businesses. Just don’t assume that never having to deal with outages again will be one of them.