What happens when the cloud goes down?

So there has been another cloud outage, this time it was Microsoft. While this is not uncommon, both Google and Amazon have had outages in recent months; it does raise a number of questions, especially when it is you that is affected.Firstly, how...

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So there has been another cloud outage, this time it was Microsoft. While this is not uncommon, both Google and Amazon have had outages in recent months; it does raise a number of questions, especially when it is you that is affected.

Firstly, how long could you survive if there is an outage, do you have the appropriate policies and procedures in place to keep your business running?

When moving IT services into the cloud an addition to your business continuity (BC) or disaster recovery (DR) plan is required which takes into account the new risks you may encounter. Writing this out will also help in identifying the level of service you require. If it is an order system, is there a manual process that can be followed? Is there a second site or supplier that can be used?

Secondly, acknowledging the fact there are issues in your own IT can help you assess whether the cloud has better availability than your own IT.

It is very easy to point at outages as a reason not to move to the cloud, but internal systems are often less reliable than those in the cloud - but people don’t measure internal availability as much as they should (this is true for security as well). Start to measure internal system and application availability today, and then look at what the cloud can provide - you might be surprised.

The cloud offers a huge number of opportunities for customers and suppliers alike, but education and awareness on the new risks is required, coupled with action plans to be followed should the need arise. Sticking your head in the sand as to the possibilities of an outage is not an option. Ignorance is far from bliss…

By Guy Bunker, Jericho Forum board member

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