Make sure your business is prepared for a cloud outage

Make sure your business is prepared for a cloud outage

The number of organisations that have embraced the concept of cloud computing has rocketed over the course of recent years, with an increasing number of companies and chief information officers (CIOs) recognising the benefits that the implementation of such technology can bring to an organisation's infrastructure.

According to a recent Gartner report, cloud computing is to be the most sought-after IT service in terms of spend by the year 2017.

Yet with the trend of shifting towards the cloud, a number of challenges have subsequently presented themselves to firms, namely the fact that the threat of an outage or outright failure of the system is a very real possibility. It is therefore hugely important that companies are prepared for such an eventuality in case something does happen to go wrong.

"There's a fairly high degree of certainty that at some point an outage will occur," Jay Heiser, a research vice president at Gartner, told CIO Insight. "Any business using the cloud must ensure that a contingency plan is in place

"It's not enough to make sure that all data is backed up. It's critical to have a way to get to it and redeploy it. Otherwise, a company might find its own business at risk."

But there are number of ways in which companies can prepare themselves for such an event. In a recent article for Host Review, Stan Klimoff, director of Cloud Services for Grid Dynamics, named four tips for preparing your organisation.

The first is to ensure that your company is well-drilled in how to react to an outage, as this will make employees and managers alike more aware of any weak points in the system.

Organisations should also design their system with a potential failure in mind as this will make it easier for your IT team to react if such an occurrence does happen.

Thirdly, there should always be a back-up plan in place, with a solution that does not rely on an internet connection being preferable.

Finally, it is important to know your service level agreements, as the recent cloud outage at Amazon was actually caused by the EBS (Elastic Block Store) service, where the stated availability is around one of a local disk.


Relying on one single local disk with a critical database should never be considered a viable solution for your system.