Hurray! We’re In the Cloud! What Now?

Hurray! We’re In the Cloud! What Now?

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Our young enterprise is operating now with Amazon Web Services (AWS) instances in a Virtual Private Cloud connected to the corporate Local Area Network. We are doing this via the Internet with a Virtual Private Network connection. All collaboration and messaging is served by Office 365. Production is ramping and the business continues to grow. So, what’s next?

Business continuity is the next thing to consider — in particular, the production services at AWS. Most, if not all, cloud providers guarantee 3 ‘nines’ plus service availability. That is a necessity for any enterprise considering the use of cloud services for production operations. However, business continuity or disaster recovery (BC/DR) is typically an additional service, and it is generally within the assets and operations of the service provider. If an unthinkable disaster strikes that provider, the subscribers could suffer total service interruption.

Ideally, the enterprise will have an alternate set of assets outside of the provider’s infrastructure. These assets should be on standby to provide failover services should such a disaster strike. A full set of compute and storage resources on premises is one approach, but that defeats the original intent and economics of cloud subscription!

Over the course of the next several posts, we will look at different approaches to mitigating the risk of primary cloud provider failure. We will look at the usual set of factors across several approaches and the associated business requirements and tolerances:

  • Recovery point objective
  • Recovery time objective
  • Data locations and transport
  • Compute resources
  • Connectivity options
  • Activation procedures
  • Primary configuration recovery
  • Expense and Investment

The BC/DR requirements are not any different in a cloud setting than in traditional IT operations. However, the approaches and implementation may be very different. Those differences, and the associated expense and investment, may influence the recovery objectives and the scope of content and services involved. Those influences may provide for a superior or inferior outcome versus a traditional on premises IT operation. That’s what we’ll explore with our growing enterprise!

Watch this space…..

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