In Part I, we discussed the importance of having a service level agreement to keep cloud services available anytime, from anywhere in order to reduce downtime. If the service provider’s networks are available at all times, users need to worry only for their own infrastructure.
Having said that, however, downtime must always be monitored at all times using advanced network monitoring tools. Record of system outages or downtime should automatically be logged for analysis in real time. Admin should have the ability to enter identified names and email addresses in the system for notifications in case of failures.
Failover servers are programmed to seamlessly take over the service while repairs are carried out to correct the problems in the main server. In addition, help desks and trouble-shooting services offered by online backup services enable the customer to alert his service provider about any and every possible system difficulties that they may encounter in the use of the service. Backing up your data in the cloud has not only the benefit of safeguarding your data, but also minimising or eliminating the detrimental effects of down time for your company.
By putting your data in the cloud, you have the convenience that come with accessibility, scalability and mobility. In addition, you have protected your data from physical destruction, theft, natural disasters, operating systems and hard drive crashes. Cost savings, easy sharing and “set-it-and-forget-it” operations that comes with automated systems are additional benefits. At the same time, extreme care should be exercised in selecting a cloud based backup service provider so as to avoid any fly-by-night operators.
Small, medium and large enterprises use the cloud because not only it is effective and saves money, but also it mitigates downtime. Occasionally, cloud services might get interrupted for various reasons. Even Amazon’s AWS suffered downtime in the past.
To avoid downtime, it is suggested that you get a signed copy of the SLAs, have both on-premise and cloud services, perform a thorough risk analysis, and determine your true downtime cost per hour, which might not be an easy task as it requires complex assumptions and calculations. As cloud services are charged on “pay as you go” basis, calculating actual downtime costs becomes a moving target. However, other costs such as operational, salaries, connectivity, and so on can be figured out easily.
Downtime could possibly be avoided by developing a well thought business continuity and disaster recovery plans. It must be remembered that the cloud does not guarantee that you will have a 100% uptime services, rather, it mitigates the risks of downtime.