The hybrid cloud: Lessons from India’s cloud outages

January 3, 20183 Minute Read

Indian businesses are embracing the cloud with a vengeance, but it’s the hybrid cloud that’s emerging as the most reliable, with 82 percent of Indian businesses betting on it. With cloud computing service providers flooding the Indian market—such as Microsoft, NetMagic, AWS, and Meghdoot—it’s the hybrid variety of cloud infrastructure that most Indian businesses are gunning for.

Cloud computing is the latest in IT to sweep across Indian businesses. While clouds can be public or private, a third category—hybrid cloud—offers the best of both worlds for businesses hesitant to go all-in on cloud infrastructure. Many Indian businesses end up using the public cloud for less vital tasks and the private cloud for sensitive data. With the hybrid cloud, you get better security, enhanced performance, and more flexibility in deployment options.

But it’s a fact of life: Cloud outages can happen, no matter where you are in the world. Given the frequency of power outages worldwide and the cloud becoming more and more integrated in your daily IT life, how can your team prepare?

1. What happens during a cloud outage?

That’s a no-brainer. Besides the general chaos, businesses may face losses when data becomes inaccessible. When your data is unavailable, it prevents effective and efficient customer service and leads to negative end-user experiences. The cost, then, can be staggering for the enterprise and the service provider. IT experts need to prepare for the worst and devise a robust public, private, or hybrid cloud strategy that’ll help businesses overcome outages resiliently.

2. How do you prepare for the worst?

Disasters always arrive when you’re least expecting them. If you want to be prepared for anything, step up to the plate—this is just the beginning:

  • Put together a plan of action, a series of steps to take in the event of an outage.

  • Do a proper backup every day, especially when data is entrusted to a cloud service provider. Store this backup data in multiple locations, including a server.

  • Check your Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with cloud service providers and understand their capacity to deliver on all terms in the contract.

  • Know how your data backup and disaster recovery plan is structured by the service provider with regard to the cloud.

  • Encrypt all the data you store on the cloud.

  • Have a dry run each month with a manual outage to familiarize your teams with the measures to be executed in the event of an actual outage.

A recent study among Asia Pacific organizations, including India, revealed that a power outage could mean data losses of up to 37 percent. The minutes post-outages are absolutely crucial to the IT team. In India, nearly 83 percent of the respondents preferred to house their disaster-recovery sites in the country, while 31 percent opted to favour cloud-based disaster recovery solutions. An encouraging 57 percent emphasized the need to re-look at expenditure on cloud architecture.

This only reinforces the belief that the cloud is the future. The way tech is advancing, IT infrastructure for all enterprises will eventually involve some amount of cloud computing. With most enterprise processes and applications migrating to the cloud, they’ll become integrated with cloud solutions. But even though many Indian IT experts believe cloud technology has come a long way and disruptions are few and far between, outages happen—even to the top enterprises. Better to be safe than sorry.

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