Catastrophic corporatist cloud outages destroying credibility of cloud as a serious business model?
By ECM Plus staff
ECM Plus +++ In the wake of the dramatic outages at behemoths Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud services, industry heavyweights were quick to weigh in with their take on the ongoing data debacles.
Riccardo Degli Effetti, data centre manager at Rackspace said: “The recent lightning strike in Ireland that has taken down Amazon’s cloud hosting service in the region is a timely reminder that outages occur, no matter how well a technology or technology provider is prepared to prevent it.”
He went on: “Anyone who uses a laptop knows this. And it doesn’t matter whether the computer hardware or software you use is located in your home or office, or miles away in the data centre of a hosting company, things can still go wrong.”
Effetti added: “There are ways to protect data centres from lightning strikes, such as lightning and surge protection which are in place in Rackspace’s EMEA DC.”
According to Rackspace, both cloud and traditional managed hosting have to rely on well-maintained infrastructure to function.
Rackspace said that apart from the obvious technological steps that need to be taken in order to resolve the outage and get services up and running again, to minimise the damage of these incidents, cloud and hosting providers need to remember that customers expect them to be service providers first and foremost.
It stated that customers rightly demand a high level of service and transparency when things do go wrong. The company said that it is no longer acceptable to post updates on a website and not communicate directly or through multiple channels. Customers want a partner, someone they can talk to, who will tell them the truth and work with them when things go wrong, rather than a simple technology vendor. Providing this level of service is critical to ensuring trust in cloud computing amongst organisations.
Rackspace added in a statement that “Outages, although rare, are painful, and they should motivate cloud and hosting service providers to improve both preventive measures and the overall level of care provided to customers. As the saying goes, lightning never strikes twice, but Amazon has been hit before, in the US in 2009. It’s important that lessons are learned from these events.”