You probably don’t need anyone to explain to you the advantages of redundancy. Almost everyone has learned this at some point, probably the hard way, for example- discovering at the last minute that a carefully crafted PowerPoint presentation is inaccessible because of equipment snafus like a laptop that gets stolen or is incompatible with the projector.
Cloud Computing is Redundant Computing
In the same way that server redundancy provides failover protection for business continuity and disaster preparedness, adding cloud capability to your architecture allows improved scalability and provides increased stability and security by providing the infrastructure to accommodate even very large spikes in demand or other sudden increases in bandwidth requirements. The benefits of cloud architectures hold true at a larger scale when you chose a provider who offers redundant server locations.
Even if your enterprise is located in a major city right on the internet backbone, odds are that this isn’t true of all of your customers and field offices, and in any event any of you can be affected by traffic rerouted around an outage. At such times the value of redundant server locations quickly becomes apparent.
Your Enterprise Needs Redundant Server Locations
For all of the same reasons that you adopted or plan to adopt a cloud architecture in the first place, you should include redundant server locations in your list of criteria when you choose or review your cloud architecture solution.
The redundancy gives you a backup for all of the things that can go wrong on the internet. Internet outages might seem like a thing of the past, but they redundant server issues do happen. A mishap with a backhoe can eliminate connectivity to half a major city, and the repercussions can be much wider if it happens to take out a major segment. Events during the Arab Spring also demonstrated that even at the national level, internet infrastructure often has only a single point of failure, as in January 2011 when the regime of Hosni Mubarak apparently ordered major internet service providers and mobile phone networks offline in an effort to disrupt planning for the protests that would eventually topple him from power.
Customers today expect web servers to remain online and are not necessarily sympathetic even when the outage is due to the type of malicious targeting that results in a denial of service attack. They expect robust enterprise architectures that transparently handle such threats without impeding the customer experience. Likewise an increasingly mobile workforce requires a distributed workflow and secure and reliable internet connectivity. You can meet every one of these challenges by selecting a provider with redundant server locations.
Your Enterprise Will Benefit from Redundant Server Locations
In most cases this will not cost you any more than if you had not, and the failover to the remote location can be automated to trigger only for specified events. You minimize the risk from political upheaval and natural disasters, especially when the servers are geographically spread out. For example, Cloud Provider USA’s redundant server locations have been carefully selected with redundancy in mind, and placed in Tier 4 data centers in Miami, Amsterdam and Las Vegas.
Outages cost money, both in terms of lost revenue and perceived inadequacies that may affect employee morale or customer confidence. Redundant server locations generally come with service level agreements covering both latency and uptime.
You should move today to put the benefits of redundant server locations to work for your enterprise.