Recently, I came upon Keith Bates’ Business Cloud 9 post, “Power Outages in the Cloud.” Bates states, “Power outages such as those experienced by the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft in recent months are not only hugely embarrassing for the Cloud giants, but also incredibly disruptive for the affected users.”
He’s right. The gap between 100 percent uptime and what cloud service providers have been delivering of late can kill a client’s business. Any enterprise that accepts responsibility for hosting critical business operations needs to put clients’ needs first and make the sorts of investments you suggest and others, as well. Technology to deliver the highest levels of uptime assurance is readily available. Yet building the cheapest servers possible and relying on automated systems to manage recovery seems to be the cloud business model of choice. It’s a gamble that is reflected in the weak SLAs – and the many SLA exceptions in small print – that cloud service providers offer up. They would do well to differentiate themselves from competitors by the superiority of their commitment to their customers’ well being, instead of their own.