Whoops, there goes my cloud: What to do when AWS foresakes you

Multiple providers? Hybrid approach? Or, just take the hit?

18 Reg comments Got Tips?

Acceptable service?

Any of these approaches may well work for you. There's a big catch, though: there's often a gap between what your business colleagues sign up for and what they're actually prepared to work with when a problem occurs.

I've seen countless examples over the years where this has happened. I vividly remember one instance where a business I was consulting for was offered a fairly expensive 8x5 support service or an eye-wateringly expensive 24x7 one by a vendor, and they chose the lower cost option ... and then the effluent hit the fan when the system bugged out on a Saturday afternoon and wasn't restored for 48 hours.

And I'm sure there are plenty of readers who've experienced the business types changing their tune the moment something's gone a bit Pete Tong.

In short

So what have we learned here? No matter what your cloud provider pitches, at some point your cloud service will die: there's no such thing as a 100 per cent service guarantee, so plan to deal with the downtime.

The question is, what next? You need a proper agreement from your business colleagues regarding how you deal with outages – one that spells out in words of one syllable the consequences of a failure so they're completely clear on what they're signing up for.

And after that resist the temptation to bin your cloud provider because they've had an outage.

Although they're a ball ache, faults are an opportunity to learn lessons and improve resilience and monitoring, so the chances are that a service is better following an outage than it was prior to it. ®


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