Cloud Outage Reality Check: Where Do I Put My Eggs?

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By Gary Thome, VP and Chief Engineer, HPE Software-Defined and Cloud Group

Idioms are expressions that are used in everyday conversation to paint a mental picture of something – often expressing common knowledge or wisdom. After several recent high profile public cloud outages, one tried-and-true idiom kept popping up everywhere with numerous analysts and authors agreeing with the concept: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Diversify your eggs

Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst, Interarbor Solutions, stated, “Cloud sourcing is no different than any product or service sourcing. The old adages still apply: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and keep your options open.  A private to multi-cloud continuum that can react in real time is and will remain the safest route to nonstop business continuity.”

Not surprisingly, a few articles defended AWS and the outage. One such article quoted a prominent analyst who covers public cloud referring to the outage as a “hiccup.” Yet according to an article in Business Insider, the disruption hurt 54 of the top 100 internet retailers when their websites either crashed completely or slowed by 20% or more. Cyence, a startup that analyzes the economic impact of internet risk, reported that financial services companies in the U.S. lost an estimated $150 million.

So which eggs should go into which basket?

The advice to not put all your eggs in one basket doesn’t really help guide anyone on which eggs to place in which baskets. The outage on February 28 was the result of AWS doing some routine maintenance – a simple command. Yet due to human error, this simple maintenance caused major issues for many businesses. Before this routine procedure, did AWS contact everyone and say, “Hey, we’re planning to do some changes. Does this timing work for you?”

Of course not. Yet, who is in control is an important thing to consider. If my business runs critical end-of-month reports, I probably wouldn’t have scheduled anything to be changed on this last day of the month. (Because, as we all know, things such as routine IT maintenance, software upgrades, etc., don’t always go as planned.)

So perhaps before putting an application in a public cloud, the question to ask is, “Can I accept an unexpected outage at any possible time in this application?” If no, then perhaps you need to run this application on premises where you can control when system upgrades can or cannot occur.

Public clouds can’t be controlled – at least not by any individual business that uses them. Businesses that put their workloads in the cloud give away a fair amount of that control. Knowing this fact, it’s wise to plan accordingly, and more importantly, do an inventory of your cloud workload to assess if they are meeting your current SLA commitments.

Hybrid approach

Now is the time for every business to take stock of their applications and decide which ones should be in the public cloud and which ones should remain on traditional IT or a private cloud. Thanks to recent innovations in hyperconverged and composable solutions, private cloud options are now better than ever. Speed, agility, and efficiency are standard features in these new offerings, giving you all of the benefits of the public cloud without losing any of the control.

With these new innovations around private cloud, why put all of your eggs into the public cloud basket? Instead, spread out your risk with a strategy that blends the best of public and private cloud.

Many businesses are learning that diversifying risk with a hybrid cloud strategy is a smarter approach. It’s time to take back some much needed control. It’s time to decide which eggs to put into which basket.

To learn more about hyperconverged solutions, read the ebook, How Hyperconvergence Can Help IT. To learn more about the benefits of HPE’s first composable infrastructure, HPE Synergy, read HPE Synergy for Dummies. To find out how HPE can help you determine a workload placement strategy, check out HPE Pointnext.


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.