Preventing cloud outages isn’t easy, but some measures can be taken

The cloud is ubiquitous in the business world today, as companies rely upon cloud-based CRM, ERP and MRP to keep their day-to-day operations afloat. Unfortunately, outages do happen – in fact, more often than IT officials would like to admit. According to a new Kelton Research study commissioned by TeamQuest, nearly 40 percent of corporate IT managers say they’ve experienced at least one cloud outage.

Scott Adams, director of product management at TeamQuest, noted that nearly one-third of respondents spend more than $1 million per year on cloud services. Considering the high stakes in cloud computing, Adams says a 40 percent outage rate is not acceptable.

“Cloud, whether it’s internal or external, is here to stay and it has great benefits, but IT managers need to know whether there is sufficient service capacity to support growth or peaks in their workloads and still meet required SLAs, for example,” Adams said. “The IT team must play a larger role with the emergence of today’s dynamic environment. You have to ask the right questions and provide expertise and advice to a variety of constituents to mitigate risks.”

There are countless measures IT managers can take to prevent cloud outages in their offices. Here are three:

Don’t rely on a single server
One of the biggest mistakes an IT manager can make with the cloud is storing all data on a single cloud server – if that one server goes down, everything is lost. Keep your data diversified for added flexibility. You might even want to consider secondary cloud providers – if one goes down, the other will be there to prop you up.

Keep data backed up
Of course, the whole point of cloud computing is that backing up data on a hard drive shouldn’t be necessary, since everything you need is online anyway. But strictly as a backup plan, saving important files on your computer is probably wise. That way, you can call upon your backup files if desperate times call.

Monitor your growth
One of the biggest reasons that cloud solutions encounter outages is unchecked growth. If you’re putting too much data in one place, you might overextend your cloud resources, so keep a watchful eye on the growth of your company and the volume increases you’re working with.

A cloud outage is no picnic – if it’s a bad one, it can cost your company millions in productivity. But with good judgment and careful planning, IT officials can do their best to ensure an outage never happens.