A lesson to be learnt…

Tech fails. But how can you be prepared when it does?

Following last night’s news about an issue with AWS’s S3 cloud storage, I think now is a better time than any to highlight the point, however obvious, that technology failures happen (and if it can happen to AWS, then it can happen to anyone…)

AWS is a fantastically resilient service with phenomenally high levels of uptime – it is not the market-leader by sheer chance. Yet when problems arise, however rare, it is almost instantly forgotten that it is one of the safest and most reliable platforms on which businesses of ALL sizes can store their data and run their organisations.

It is unsurprising that it makes the headlines because public cloud outages are very rare; they are like plane crashes. Let me explain…

There are far more accidents and fatalities from road travel than air travel. Car crashes are frequent, small and localised (and thus go unreported) whereas plane crashes are so rare that they become global headline news. But you’re still far, far safer travelling in the air than on the ground.

When outages happen, everyone has the right to complain. However, it should not be used as an excuse to bash public cloud, hosted services and internet-based software, as if fears are now justified. Even those of us in the sector struggle to imagine the challenges of operating a platform of AWS’ size and scale and there is nobody in IT who hasn’t had in-house system failures that lasted longer than yesterday’s issues.

The lesson? Cloud platforms will go down, data centres will go offline and networks will break. But, it’s all about how you plan for these outages, and if your data only exists in one place, then there will always be a risk.

These days it is not good enough to rely on storing your data on one public or private cloud. Your business, whether small or large, needs to back up its data…and back up your backup. If your whole business model is reliant on one cloud platform, then you need to reconsider your cloud strategy. If you do not have resilience built into your systems and a robust backup plan for when outages happen, then AWS can’t be blamed for the whole issue.

MSPs like us are designed to help guide your cloud strategy. We always build AWS clouds with geographical resilience and multi-zoning, and offer hybrid and multi-cloud solutions to add vendor diversity.

If you are already embracing cloud technology, or are planning to, then you need to be smart and plan ahead.

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