The Silver Lining In Your Cloud TM

The Importance of High Availability in Cloud Computing

One of the most important aspects of any cloud computing solution is the availability of the cloud. Why is high availability in cloud computing so important?

Here’s one reason:

Access to Your Business-Critical Data and Applications

When your cloud solution isn’t available, it practically doesn’t exist for your business. In effect, any data or apps that are accessed via your cloud cannot be utilized as long as the cloud server remains unavailable.

Picture how much a loss of infrastructure access would affect your operations on any given day. For nearly any business, losing infrastructure would bring operations to a grinding halt, with users not being able to recover mission-critical data or run remotely-managed applications.

Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, the cost of lost productivity and missed business opportunities could run tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.

Having access to your mission-critical apps and data can mean the difference between efficient, successful business operations and wasting both time and money.

In short, the more critical your cloud-based apps and data are to your business, the more important it is to have a cloud solution with high availability. So, whether you’re looking to build your own infrastructure or use a cloud service provider, availability is a major issue.

How Will I Know if a Cloud Solution Has High Availability?

Any cloud services provider worth their salt should be able to give you an accurate estimate of their availability when you ask them. However, if you want to get a solid idea of what a cloud service providers uptime for their cloud solution will be, check for the following:

  • Redundant. Cloud platforms that are purpose-built for disaster recovery often feature a high level of system redundancy, often by using not one, but two virtual instances to store your apps and data. This helps to ensure a high availability by allowing your apps to run off of the extra instance if your primary has to be taken offline for maintenance or upgrades.
  • Cloud Security. One factor that can have a surprising influence on overall uptime for a server is the security of that server. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that  modern businesses are under constant threat of attacks by hackers and thieves. These attacks can disrupt cloud services if they get through. However, strong security such as multiple firewalls and antivirus programs can help prevent breaches and keep your cloud available for use.
  • Tier IV Data Centers. The data center that houses your cloud provider’s servers can have an enormous impact on availability. For example, a Tier I data center won’t have much redundancy built in to prevent IT process disruptions. Tier IV data centers, on the other hand, have the built-in backup systems and redundancy to survive a Category 5 hurricane and stay up.

These are a few of the features that can help ensure that your cloud computing service remains available to you for when you need it.

Overall, there are many factors that contribute to the usefulness of a cloud-based service. However, a cloud built with high availability is one of the things that separates a premium cloud solution from the rest of the market.