Some of the fears surrounding cloud storage providers range from the valid to the absurd. What many people don’t realise is that all of the valid disadvantages of cloud computing are problems that exist in all types of IT setups, but each fear has a solution. When the IT industry embraces a technology shift in the way it has with cloud computing, the solutions are generally more efficient, lower cost, easier to implement or all three. Aside from the more obvious advantages of cloud computing, it also features automatic server failover systems that ensure your business continuity.
Why is Business Continuity a Key SLA with Cloud Storage Providers?
Business continuity is an increasing necessity. A rare downtime occurrence is not ideal, but damage to reputation and efficiency are limited when handled properly. Downtime has been accepted as a downside of self-managed or on-premise IT for generations, but cloud services providers have made the possibility of always-up IT a value proposition that makes cloud computing more attractive.
Cloud providers and those delivering hosted IT solutions understand that IT plays a role in every part of business. This is why limiting downtime is a key feature of SLAs and something your business should focus on when looking for a cloud storage provider. Read one of our earlier posts if you want to know the cost of downtime to your business.
How Server Failovers Remove Downtime
Modern data and application servers are virtualised systems that reside on a virtualised enterprise server. The physical servers may be in one or many locations, but their physical location has little relevance to the failover system that ensures uptime. The three main providers of virtualisation software are VMware, OpenStack and Microsoft. Each has failover features that allow the simultaneous synchronising of data and applications from one virtual server to another.
The decision to switch from one active system to an exact mirror takes place when network-monitoring tools identify a possible issue with your IT. Network monitors and indicators can identify a problem before your systems go down and this enables your failover device to kick-in and prevent downtime. Many bespoke IT solutions include failover systems as a feature or benefit because they are essential for mission-critical services. Your data solutions provider should be able to demonstrate how they use instant failover systems to ensure your data availability.
Load Balancing Also Reduces Downtime
Server crashes that used to be commonplace are now manageable by using load balancing. You can now stop your servers from grinding to a halt by spreading the demand for compute and storage I/O over multiple servers. For years, the servers would crash at the most critical time – when your business is busiest.
Today, your business’ busiest times are manageable by load balancing that activates when your business needs to call on more processing power. This is possible, thanks to the availability of the excess processing power from other virtual machine instances in your cloud. It’s easy to rapidly deploy extra virtual machines or even add processor cores to your existing setup when your applications demand more from your systems.
It’s possible to spin-up new virtual machines in minutes, which gives additional resources accessible with load balancing technology. In the past, your business would have suffered at these high demand times, until you were able to purchase and grow your server capacity. Disposing of the extra compute is just as easy and gives you the opportunity to spend only what you need and limit hardware redundancy.