All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Widespread outages underline the need for IT backup plans

27 Jul 2012
A man staring into a stack of racks in frustration

On Thursday Twitter, Microsoft's Azure platform, Google Talk and the government's CloudStore all went offline for extended periods, leaving million of users without access to these key services.

The fact this all took place during the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas is pure coincidence (right?) but the widespread outages underline how reliant businesses are on tools that, when they disappear, can cause huge upheavals.

Google Talk, for example, may only be a free chat service, but for millions of office workers it's a quick, easy and free tool to communicate across an organisation that has a clear productivity benefit.

Laurent Lachal, a senior analyst at Ovum, told V3 that for many firms the benefits of using free cloud-hosted tools outweighs the risk.

"Many are not ready to pay as they understand that they won't get a level of service if anything does go down, but if you're using Google Docs and you can't access it for a few hours, it's not the end of the world," he said.

"Of course if you're working on something on a tight deadline and it has to be completed you may not want to use a free tool, but for many it's an acceptable risk."

However, for many others, if these services to drop offline, from Google Talk to Skype to Google Documents - problems can become immediately obvious.

"If you demand 100 per cent - or as close as possible - uptime, then a free model is not for you," Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom told V3.

Instead, Longbottom said that businesses must assess their requirements and plan accordingly to their specific requirements, even if that does mean spending some money.

"Once the level of availability for a business process to be carried out is understood, the business can make better informed decisions. A process that has to happen, come hell or high water, needs multiple levels of redundancy built in, from the technical to the task", he said.

"So, if public cloud models are being used, they should be implemented in an abstracted way so that should the free/public service suddenly go down, plan B can be brought in so that a similar function can ensure that the overall process still works."

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Dan Worth
About

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

More on Cloud Computing
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?
22%
13%
4%
22%
28%
11%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet powered by Android KitKat 4.4

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet video

We take a look at the lightweight, waterproof tablet

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv33

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery

rdc2

iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

Software Development Engineer

Develop: Customise: Configure. Maximise your technical...

Application Specialist

Application Specialist Salary £31,500 per annum...

Junior IT Desktop Support Analyst

This is a fantastic opportunity to work for a dynamic...

Test Analysts

Test Analysts At Novacroft, we work in partnership...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.