Amazon Web Services itself experienced a much publicized four-day service disruption last April, another outage in August and it had plenty of company from other cloud service companies last year. Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform in February had downtime problems due after the company failed to account for Leap Day, and despite improvements by cloud providers to minimize future outages, more outages will inevitably happen this year and beyond.
Here are steps experts say enterprise IT shops should take to avoid cloud outages from knocking them out:
1) With AWS, use multiple availability zones.
Amazon Web Services offers "availability zones" (AZ) in each of its regions and for each of its services. The company describes AZs as each running on its own physically distinct, independent infrastructure. "They are physically separate, such that even extremely uncommon disasters such as fires, tornados or flooding would only affect a single Availability Zone." During last year's outage, about 45 percent of customers who used only a single AZ for the Relational Database Services were impacted, compared to less than 3 percent of customers who used a multi-AZ approach, AWS said in a post mortem report. After last year's outage the company made it easier for customers to use a multi-AZ approach by allowing common design and APIs to distribute instances across AZs. Read more...