Jul 11, 2011

Does moving to the Cloud increase the risk of downtime?

We're investigating whether it would be feasible to move our current website to Amazon's EC2 for hosting, which would have the added benefit of allowing it to scale to handle our Christmastime rush. But since Amazon had the server failure earlier this year, wouldn't that place our small company's data at risk for a major outage should Amazon fail again during the holidays? That kind of risk is frightening because if they can't get it right, who can?



If the right infrastructure has been put into place, a server instance or even a server farm outage won't bring down your website; the trick is to have load-balancing installed in such a way that if one server instance or server farm goes out, another one takes up the slack.


You might want to check into check out Cloud.com. They provide private cloud hosting services and were just purchased by Citrix, so they're probably a fairly reliable company as well.


I wouldn't be frightened. Amazon's aperiodic outages have actually affected very few of its customers. If you have other fears, there are a number of great providers out there that have very good infrastructure and some of them can emulate the EC2 cloud so that you can use EC2-focused tools directly into another provider's cloud.

You need to secure and backup your cloud (or use availability features inherent in cloud construction and operating systems infrastructure) just like you'd do at your own data center. Never believe that the cloud is any better or worse than the protections you would design-in to your own network.

You might also look to VMware vCenter and providers like Bluelock. I have no interests in any of the aforementioned; just reporting what we've researched and tested.
Answer this