Weathering the Cloud

Hidden in one of the weekly newsletters I subscribe to this week was a gem called Amazon Cloud Outage: 10 Lessons Learned. It has been widely reported that Amazon experienced outages and interruptions of its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) services in the U.S. East Coast region on April 21. Later, Amazon published this rather complicated document explaining what went wrong.  But more important than understanding the cause of the outage is applying some thinking to what we can all learn from this and how we could all be affected by our choices in regards to cloud. Written (incredibly well) by the folks at CRN, the “10 lessons learned” list looks something like this:

  1. The Cloud Will Go Out – outages are inevitable and a complete cloud strategy must take this into account
  2. Disaster Recovery, Failover Strategies Are Necessary
  3. Pay Attention To SLAs – organizations need to evaluate what their tolerances are for each service or system being migrated to the cloud and secure the appropriate SLA’s.
  4. Partner With An Expert – support from a trusted advisor is key
  5. Don’t Put ‘Blind Trust’ In The Cloud
  6. Beware Cloud Charlatans – competitors will look for ways to capitalize on this outage, but companies shouldn’t be looking for a “quick fix” promise
  7. Cloud Management, Maintenance Are Still Required
  8. Amazon’s Outage Will Make The Cloud Stronger
  9. Assume Nothing – don’t assume resiliency, backup, disaster recovery and other services are offered by cloud providers
  10. Transparency, Communication Are A Must – cloud providers’ reputations will be based on how they communicate with their customers – before, during, and after an outage

Hot on the heels of that article was the keynote address by EMC CEO Joe Tucci at this past week’s EMC World. In this recap by, Tucci is quoted as saying, cloud is the “biggest and most disruptive change” the IT industry has ever seen. He went on to tell the audience, “Addressing today’s issues will require more efficiency, choice, and control of companies’ IT infrastructure. And what addresses these pain points? It’s the cloud. And more specifically, the answer is the hybrid cloud.”

There’s no doubt that cloud is gathering momentum. But with a solid strategy and strong partnerships, you can leverage the power of cloud and still weather potential storms.


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