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

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

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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