Guest post by Maureen Griffith, Communications Specialist for Codero, a leading provider of optimized hosting infrastructure who creates scalable solutions using dedicated, managed and cloud hosting services.
As a hosting provider, Codero took great interest in the recent Amazon cloud outage in April which affected a great many of its customers. The online retailer Amazon is also the world’s largest cloud-computing provider. The four-day disruption occurred when a configuration change to upgrade the capacity of the primary network was executed incorrectly. Backup procedures failed to work due to the sheer volume of data that was incorrectly diverted.
Consequently, even weeks later, there is still a lot of buzz out there questioning the reliability of cloud.
Cloud is a very desirable service because it is highly scalable based on your needs – you only pay for the resources you use. Despite the outcry about cloud outages, cloud is not going away. Demand is growing for cloud thanks in part to its cost-effectiveness and green benefits.
The Amazon crisis impacted a wide variety of social media sites which rely on cloud hosted infrastructure like Reddit and Foursquare. Cloud services are known for their reliability and scalability so it’s only natural that many—especially social media sites—have placed a great deal of trust in them. But IT managers should not be complacent. They should consider upfront how they will respond to their users if their cloud services are interrupted because they can be interrupted. Those businesses using cloud services should take the lead in planning for service failures themselves. Technology departments who deliver applications to customers need to be aware of the management tools that can give them a greater level of control and protection over their cloud environments.
You may not have the in-house capabilities to react quickly to cloud problems so relying on a hosting provider to create a disaster recovery and business continuity plan is a proactive move. Codero helps customers plan and put safeguards in place with services architected to respond to failure in the cloud.
A Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is a recommended best practice to be used with cloud as a backup solution to prevent data loss. With DR, you can retrieve lost data and ensure business continuity if you suffer an interruption in cloud service. Think of DR as the life preserver on the sailboat. You don’t want to sail without some backup protection. You don’t want to fail to design for your cloud computing model. Balance the cost and complexity with the risk. Every component has its own architecture and there are tradeoffs between levels of resiliency and cost.
The first step to an effective cloud solution is to ask your hosting provider questions that give you the information you need to build in resilience. Design for failure. Inquire about recovery and redundancy before you make your ultimate cloud decision.