Will Amazon Crash Shake Industry's Tenuous Confidence with Cloud Computing?
Insurance Experts' Forum, May 2, 2011
The insurance industry is famously cautious when it comes to new technology approaches, and attitudes toward the current technology rage, cloud computing, have been no exception.
So when Amazon Web Services lost its mojo for two days in April, with a major outage stretching over two days, many analysts and pundits began wondering out loud if relying on outside cloud vendors is too much of a risky proposition.
But the recent Amazon experience only point to a tried-and-true lesson learned over and over again since the first mainframe was powered up (or down) 50 years ago: That is, those that prepare the most for disasters and disruptions are the most likely to smoothly sail through.
In the age of internal data centers, managers knew there would always be downtime, and prepared for such events by backing mission-critical data on tape, and having arrangements with disaster recovery sites.
Likewise, in an era when many functions or applications are being turned over to the cloud, companies need an architecture that incorporates redundancy, and assures that secondary sources will be there when needed. Most importantly, there needs to be an understanding that it takes additional investments to put business continuity assurances in place.
Again, there’s nothing new here—just a reminder that the cloud may have turned the IT world upside down, but the basics of business continuity remain the same.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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