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Learn to fail and avoid the next cloud outage

Apurva Dave, vice president of products and marketing, Riverbed Stingray Business Unit | Feb. 13, 2013
The total public cloud services market in 2011 was $91 billion and it will grow to $207 billion in 2016, according to Gartner. Despite this tremendous surge, large, very publicized cloud outages have everyone thinking about cloud risks. The reality, however, is that outages with large public cloud providers aren't more common than they are with a business' own private infrastructure. In fact, for many organizations, these cloud providers probably provide better uptime than they could achieve on their own.

Aside from this security blanket, cloud balancing across multiple providers enables you to develop an application that is battle-tested across multiple cloud platforms, benefit from different SLAs and different data center locations, and provides you the option to shift cloud strategies in the future. The ultimate end goal with cloud balancing is to ensure high availability with maximum performance.

For managed security service provider AlertBoot, which operates 100% of its business online, website performance is critical and downtime would be devastating to the company. When the company moved to an entirely virtualized IT environment running in the public cloud, a software-based ADC was an obvious choice to control site traffic and maintain performance, all because of its maximum portability.

According to CEO Tim Maliyil, "This gave us the flexibility to jump between cloud providers as needed. We couldn't be more pleased with our decision to use a software ADC in the cloud, as it has not just improved our site's performance, but provided a guarantee against downtime."

* Add another cloud into the mix. For businesses that rely on public clouds, a private cloud can be a secret weapon in their armory of designing for failure. These businesses' livelihood often depend on the Web and require high-scalability and elasticity, making the public cloud a fairly easy choice and often causing them to bypass private clouds all together. When designing for failure, however, adding a private cloud into the mix as a safety net in the event of a public cloud outage is a solid option, assuming you have the infrastructure and technical skills to run it.

These are just a few ways to design for failure, but the key takeaway here is that outages will happen. How well your organization is prepared for that outage will determine how much business and service disruption you experience. Hopefully if you haven't had the opportunity to learn from your own failure, you've learned from others' failures, and are well on your way to implementing a successful cloud strategy.

 

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