Cloud Outages: Are They Excusable?

A world built on cloud is a world that is dependent upon the availability of the datacenter. If cloud services are unavailable for any amount of time, the cost to the cloud provider and the business ventures running within the cloud can become astronomical. In fact, an outage and loss of data contributed to cloud based becoming recently defunct.

When went down for just under an hour in 2013, Amazon’s bottom line was hurt by over 4 million dollars. What would happen if your cloud went down for any amount of time? Do you know how much money your company would lose? More importantly, have you reviewed your cloud providers SLA to ensure you feel comfortable with the terms presented to you?

Microsoft’s statistics show that about 50% of organizations “Believe that data accounts for up to 75 per cent of their total value. If a business can’t access its data then it can’t serve its customers.”

Most cloud entrepreneurs agree that not being able to serve customers is catastrophic. When you think about cloud outages, you have to consider the consequences of the negative experience of the end user. Lydia Leong from Gartner has said, “No one should expect a cloud provider to be perfect — certainly the cloud providers don’t expect themselves to be perfect.”

Is that really the case?

When cloud providers proclaim 99.9% availability, it always seems as if the .1% happens during the most critical times of business operation. Preparing for the worst is an essential part of building out your public, private or hybrid cloud. Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law also applies to cloud and things can and will happen. The best piece of advice is actually something that every IT professional may have learned in their first computing class. Backup early and backup often because you never know what could happen to your data. When you put your data in the hands of the cloud provider, it can be tough to establish the trust between yourself and another facility and their staff.

Take the proper steps to vet out any cloud vendor that you are considering. Carefully read over the provider’s service level agreements and seek out legal or professional counsel as needed. Find other companies who may have needed similar cloud solutions and see how they have benefited from the specific cloud platform they selected. Finding a competent cloud provider is the result of due diligence.