Azure Cloud Outage: it’s not unique, it will happen again, how to protect from it

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The recent highly publicised outage of the Azure Cloud infrastructure had the Cloud doomsayers out in force. They pointed to the outage and the prior highly publicised Amazon infrastructure outage as illustrations that Cloud had a fatal flaw or was too unreliable to use:

Point 1: Such outages are highly publicised because they happen so infrequently. In general most of the major Cloud Providers are averaging 99.99% up time and over per year.This is only 52.56 minutes unscheduled downtime per year !

Point 2. Imagine the alternative of providing similar infrastructure services and achieving the same, could you do it ? Not likely, and you would not benefit from the agility and productivity of it “just” being available ready for use.

Point 3: Bad things can happen to the best laid plans, so no matter what, you should have a disaster recovery plan based on total outage. This is applicable whether you are a business using the Cloud or a consumer using Cloud Services. It may not mean that you’ll be back up and running immediately, but it does mean you’ll be organised with steps to take if an outage occurs.

For Azure and Amazon, our particular focus is data rather than the infrastructure services, and this means Azure Blob Storage and Amazon S3.

If you believe what the Egnyte CEO, Vineet Jain, says the outage exposed a flaw in Cloud Computing infrastructure and only his Egnyte hybrid product can fill the gap ie. Move all your data out of Azure and S3 and into Egnyte. Hmmmmm…. Don’t think so.

So what can you do if you store your data on a Cloud Service? Well, here is how SME Azure Cloud users can deal with it:

1. First SME personal business or Cloud File Server business users can simply assign a backup Cloud Provider to a primary Cloud Provider ie. If your using Azure, then add S3 (or another cloud provider) as a backup and all data will be replicated from the primary to the backup, including any new data you upload.also if the primary cloud goes down, when you try to access you data we will retrieve it from the Backup.

You can do this for up to 1GB of data using our hosted service and with as much data and you need using the on-premise or managed hosted Cloud Appliance. See the prior blog article on backup clouds for more information.

2. You can simply backup Cloud Data to an on-premise NAS, SAN, or other data store. We provide our own desktop sync tools for doing this, or you can of course look at other tools that enable you to achieve the same thing.

The key thing is, don’t do nothing as murphy’s law predicts the services you use will be unavailable when you really need access to them.

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