Less than a quarter of UK organisations (23 percent) report that they have calculated the real potential cost of a cloud outage.
That’s according to a new report by cloud data management company Veritas Technologies, which suggests that businesses are ill-prepared to deal with the impact of service outages.
The report, The Truth in Cloud, was commissioned by Veritas with research conducted by Vanson Bourne. It surveyed 1,200 global business and IT decision-makers and reveals that almost all (96 percent) of those organisations will have moved systems to the cloud by 2020, if they have not already done so.
With that in mind, businesses should evaluate the potential cost of outages – not just their bottom-line impact, but also associated costs, such as downtime, poor perception, and lost productivity, for example.
So how serious is the problem?
A fog of responsibility
More than one-third of respondents (38 per cent) expect less than 15 minutes of downtime a month, while the average monthly downtime is 16 minutes, according to Veritas. That may seem insignificant over the course of 30 days, but it could still be costly to many organisations.
More worrying is the finding that two-thirds of respondents believe that dealing with service interruptions is the primary responsibility of the cloud service provider. Meanwhile, 76 percent of organisations believe their cloud service provider is responsible for ensuring that their workloads and data are protected.
However, while the cloud service provider will have service level agreements in place, these are typically restricted to the infrastructure layer, meaning that they’re mainly responsible for restoring that in the event of an outage.
The cost of bouncing back
There are other key considerations for enterprises. One is bringing applications back online once the service has been reinstated. Depending on the complexity of the application and/or any data loss, this could take significantly longer than the infrastructure recovery.
Disaster recovery alternatives, such as failing over applications to an on-premise data centre, or to another cloud, could work. But again, this rests in the hands of the organisation, not those of the cloud provider.
“Organisations are clearly lacking in understanding the anatomy of a cloud outage, and that recovery is a joint responsibility between the cloud service provider and the business,” said Mike Palmer, executive VP and chief product officer at Veritas.
“Immediate recovery from a cloud outage is absolutely within an organisation’s control and responsibility to perform if they take a proactive stance to application uptime in the cloud. Getting this right means less downtime, financial impact, loss of customers’ trust, and damage to brand reputation.”
Internet of Business says
While on-demand computing services, ‘as a service’ applications, and cloud infrastructures or platforms have become critical to most enterprise users in recent years – whether in private, public, hybrid, or community clouds – there is still a fog of misconceptions about the technology.
Cloud provides many opex, agility, scalability, accessibility, and other advantages, as everyone knows. But it is not – and has never been – the borderless mist of code in the sky that the term suggests.
Internet of Business suggests that IT decision-makers should train themselves to look beyind the marketing terminology and consider the reality. In most cases, cloud services are really about racks of hardware, built on land, under the data processing, privacy, and transfer laws of the country where they are based.
Instead of saying “My data is in the cloud”, try saying, “My data is on a rack of servers in an industrial park in California” – or it may be Warsaw, Washington, or Warwickshire. “So what are the implications of that?”
Then, common sense should follow.