Breaking down what's in your cloud SLA
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Let's face it: Cloud outages happen. However, the organizations that prepare themselves with a redundancy plan are the ones that suffer the least damage. Over the past year, we've seen prospective daters suffer heartbreak and a 'chaos monkey' unleashed to prevent a cloud outage. Here are some of the most interesting stories we've seen on cloud outages the past year.
The cloud actually fails more than an internal data center does. Considering, organizations must carefully select their cloud based on a number of factors. These include negotiating a service-level agreement that specifies an availability guarantee, moving to a virtual private network, and housing your data on-premises in a high-availability, protected data center and then accessing it from different cloud locations.
Netflix's Chaos Monkey tool allows customers to launch an attack code against their own infrastructure to actually cause a cloud failure. Then, engineers are able to fix a potential problem before it ever happens for real, on their own. "The short form is that tools like this help folks design more robust infrastructure in the public cloud," said Matthew Gerber, CEO of IT-Lifeline Inc.
In addition to regular backups, the best defense against cloud outages comes from planned redundancy. If one server goes down, another server takes over, and end users don't even notice a problem. Some ways to have an effective redundancy plan include placing servers in multiple data centers and ensuring management systems and an infrastructure are both properly in place.
Boundary Inc. released a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that enabled organizations to detect a cloud outage even before a vendor knew about it. An Azure user detected a service disruption 15 hours before Microsoft announced it, and an Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) user was able to track issues Amazon support didn't otherwise notice.
It's hard enough finding that special someone -- but an outage on the dating site WhatsYourPrice.com last July left thousands of potential soul mates without a date. Brandon Wade, CEO, estimated the AWS outage cost WhatsYourPrice as much as $8,000 in revenue. But can you really put a price tag on true love?