3 ways to avoid cloud outages and improve system performance

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#What is a cloud outage?

Cloud Outage refers simply to the duration of the use of a Cloud infrastructure service. The inappropriate performance of the service may also be referred to as the agreed SLA metrics. For example, an incident in which a failure can only partially affect the data center can lead the vendor to the maintenance and rehabilitation measures necessary.

It can be seen as an end-user downtime until the service is fully restored according to the agreed SLA standards.

Causes of a cloud outage

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A range of causes within and beyond the control of a cloud vendor may lead to cloud outages. The following list briefly highlights the problems cloud vendors have in mind to ensure that the service is always delivered on the SLAs.

Power Outage

The lack of electrical energy power supported by the underlying data centers is one of the most common reasons for the outage of cloud services. Cloud suppliers are generally operating on large scales - a single data center can consume 10 to 100 megawatts of power, typically depending on its domestic grid or power plants used by third parties independently.

This challenges data center companies to ensure consistent availability of adequate electricity, especially since rapid growth and scalable market demand require scalable energy sources which would otherwise be available only in small amounts.

Cyber security

Cyber attacks such as DDoS cause data centers to overload incoming traffic and prevent legitimate users from accessing the service through the same networking channels.

Despite providing adequate protection systems, hackers tend to use hidden loopholes that trigger a protection mechanism that isolates services from legitimate users, leaks data, or completely shuts down the service.

Human error

Despite stringent protocols and systems in place to avoid this unforeseen problem, a single wrong command can potentially bring down the whole IT infrastructure service. That can even be the case with the largest cloud provider, as we saw in 2017 when a human error in the AWS data center caused a global Internet failure.

While the systems were able to detect anomalous behavior at an early stage, many of the data centers involved had their infrastructure restored and restarted completely.

Technical and Software Issue

A complex hardware and software system consists of cloud infrastructure. Glitch and bug occurrences incorporate data centers of all sizes and vertical power organizations.

These technical problems can be ignored or remain under the radar until the actual incident affects end users. If the solution to these problems is not apparent or applicable for resolving an immediate issue, the service could remain in the state of an outage.

Networking issues

Cloud vendors are permitted to partner with long-distance telecommunication service providers and government organizations.

Network issues outside the agency can go beyond the control, particularly in solving a connectivity problem of the service provider. In this case, cloud suppliers and customers rely on their telecommunications partners to restore the service.

Most large cloud providers operate globally in several countries and can dynamically balance workloads across geographically disparate data centers to address these constraints.

This allows the company to provide end-users with the service, even if networking problems are not subject to its internal control.

How to Handle Cloud Outages?

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Stock Application Inventory

One of your key questions is: where are your applications? You have to back up these cloud services if you run SaaS applications for Office, CRM, sales, and anything else. The company does not benefit from having an IT infrastructure working without working applications. With many SaaS applications, one of the challenges is that they don't support offline mode.

Depending on the license you have, specific applications - such as Office 365 permit local installations, which are ideal as long as your files remain local.

This is why we face the challenges:

Whenever you deal with one item on-site or in the cloud, something else is created. We don't often map what it takes to do a specific task since we assume that the interconnected parts are always working. This inadequately predictable situation puts your company in danger.

Backup Limits

Therefore, this raises the question, how functional would you like your staff to be in case of a failure? In the case of a service downtime situation, it is not realistic to operate fully; anything with unlimited resources is technically possible. It is possible to pay for duplicate infrastructure and SaaS services, but this will often be cost-effective and inefficient.

Start by simple issues like email, documents, and the desktop, instead. It is the capacity to log in that is the first obstacle to overcome.

The Windows OS requires almost all internet connectivity. Try to disconnect and power up your desktop. The delay causes the system to crawl out when logging in and finding all connected services, even on a home computer.

If you have a domain, you need login credentials stored locally or not get in, as opposed to home machines with local account data. Local accounts and in-house credentials are not exactly best practices for security, but you need to balance security with employee work. Most laptop users will not suffer because they are generally set to work offline, but they do not take further steps on desktops.

Find a Way to Backup IT Infrastructure Services.

What about the applications if you can log in? You would get access to the email pulled down before the failure if you enabled offline access in Outlook. You can say the same when using One Drive and having it synchronized before you lose connection.

Easy offline access to email, file shares, and printing, depending on the infrastructure, could be all that you have but better than having your employees look out on their desktops as they cannot access their information.

You must estimate the amount of networking and infrastructure services you want to maintain in the data center—specifically domain name services, internet protocol, filing, and printing.

It would help if you considered supporting these services in stock as virtual machines while it is possible to place most of these infrastructural services in the cloud.

Without everything moved off-site and without on-site resources, you can use a couple of Hyper-V hosts for those working loads that cannot move to Azure.

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