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It’s not the Cloud that fails customers. It’s the Cloud provider.

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Evidently, the latest Amazon debacle wasn’t an act of God. Instead, it seems that the provider’s equipment – and not a lightning strike at energy supplier EBS Networks’ substation – was to blame.

But, the root cause of the disruption (Microsoft BPOS customers were unable to use their email or other productivity applications for many hours) is almost academic. Rather than putting customers off the Cloud, this episode should merely reinforce the need to find the right Cloud provider.

A recent article highlights an interesting point centered around Cloud expectations. Can providers realistically guarantee zero downtime? Obviously, as Divisional Product Director of Data Cloud Services here at Redcentric, I believe the answer is a resounding “yes” – but only where three key ingredients are present 24/7:

1. A proactively monitored MPLS core network
2. State-of-the-art data centre infrastructure
3. Resilient application platforms

When fully owned and managed by a first class provider these elements combine to create a truly enterprise grade Cloud, and allow for (excuse the pun) lightning fast re-routing of traffic within milliseconds should a power failure occur. Plus, if the right data management system is in place within such a secure infrastructure, customers will never suffer interrupted services as they did while Amazon struggled to recover customer data during the crash – suffering a number of deletions due to bugs exposed by their equipment failures.

Beware SLA slaves

Many companies offer attention-grabbing 99.999% Service Level Agreement (SLAs) promises to hook you into a contract. Often, they know full well that they cannot honour such assurances, but they’re more than willing to part with nominal token service credits. When using the Cloud for business, such ‘compensation’ will never repair the damage done by a lengthy outage…or the potential thousands of pounds in lost revenue. Neither will it heal reputation and credibility.

So, when you next read about a Cloud failure, don’t doubt the Cloud. I’d suggest you simply look at which Cloud provider can promise constant uptime where others cannot.

To hear more from Stefan, view his latest Cloud webcast: Cloud State Of Play Analysis; Status Quo among end users and Cloud Providers.

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