The tech world has been ablaze this week of talk of AWS’ 5 hour outage on Tuesday.  The failure of their S3 buckets in the US-East-1 region left a range of hugely popular websites completely inaccessible, including some of those we use here at Intrepid, such as Trello and Slack.  Whilst we have workarounds, for some companies, having such a widespread outage in one region meant that all their internal systems stopped working, and businesses were stranded for the duration of the failure. 

This is the first time that a major ‘cloud’ outage has created such widespread disruption, and with it, the first real signs of negativity about hosting in the cloud.  Businesses nowadays are being told that being totally cloud hosted is the lowest cost, most effective, and most secure way to go, but are not necessarily fully aware of the security and uptime constraints. 

Many businesses are moving to SaaS models, where most, if not all, of their systems and infrastructure are hosted on a cloud platform, whether that be AWS, Microsoft Azure, Dropbox or others.  And for many businesses, this can prove to be the right option.  However, those responsible for the IT need to consider what COULD happen with a major service outage, and how their business might perform without access to vital systems.

By working with an experienced IT architect, businesses can map their systems to the appropriate IT model – whether that be totally cloud based, with back up, on-site (with off-site backup!) or a hybrid of the two.  We’re moving towards a world where there are multiple different models of IT infrastructure, and businesses should work with their providers to identify the right one for their organisation.  Sometimes, there is a benefit to having complete control of your IT systems, with some latency built in, or a cloud based backup available, whilst for other businesses, having no physical infrastructure of their own is the right way to go.  In all circumstances however, management needs to be aware of the risks, and have resiliency in mind.

If you want to discuss how your business uses the cloud, the security implications of non-physical infrastructure, or just how you can build resiliency into your IT planning, get in touch.