When Cloud-based services fail
12 months ago 0 Comments
There is much talk of the benefits of the Cloud, with the flexibilty it offers, and the switch to operational rather than expenditure for buying software. There are, however, concerns about the location of data, and occasionally, organisations' powerlessness when their Cloud provider's systems fail.
As this blog Arstechnica reports, sometimes, despite redundancy being built into the system, things go wrong with data centres and there is a knock-on effect to IT managers and their users (or as some call them, their internal 'customers.') It's bad enough when it's your internal customers who are affected, but much more embarrassing when it's your Cloud-based customers as in the instance reported by Arstechnica, and when you're Amazon, one of the largest data centre operators in the world and the most popular provider of infrastructure-as-a-service cloud offerings.
As the blog points out, all Cloud providers have various backup plans, and backups for backup plans, but sometimes even the strictest, best-engineered precautions are not always enough. From an IT manager's point of view - and maybe from 'the business' perspective too, since sometimes it is the business that is spinning up Cloud-based services outside those provided by the IT department - it demonstrates how using the Cloud can leave both sides feeling they have been left out of control. The business, because it's not getting the services it paid for, and IT, because is is not providing the service, and therefore cannot do much about it.
Indeed, often in these cases, it is IT managers that have to go and sweep up after the business and sort out its self-inflicted Cloud-based problems: typically service level agreement issues or data gone missing.
As the Cloud matures, these issues will hopefully diminish, but for now, they can and do cause significant user and manager - frustration.