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Federated Clouds Help Businesses Weather Catastrophic Infrastructure Loss

Federated Clouds Help Businesses Weather Catastrophic Infrastructure Loss

In 2013, over 100 billion dollars were lost by businesses in the US because of freak weather outbreaks. More was lost to fire, to vandalism, to theft, and the many other “black swan” occurrences that can cause catastrophic losses of infrastructure. The cliché is that around eighty percent of businesses that suffer a catastrophic data loss will fail within two years. There’s some doubt that this figure is entirely accurate, but it’s certainly fair to say that in a data centered world, loss of data or of computing infrastructure costs money, jobs, and opportunities.

When the physical endangers the digital

The cloud presents an obvious solution to data loss incidents that can impact business continuity. By moving or duplicating workloads into the cloud, businesses shift the burden of management and protection onto cloud vendors. They no longer have the risks associated with keeping data in-house, and a typhoon tearing up the local office isn’t going to put a dent in the continuity of a business that has its data in the cloud and its applications running on cloud platforms.

But, while it’s true that the cloud provides a more robust solution than in-house data centers — typically cloud vendors can afford to invest in more resilient facilities than the average business — that doesn’t mean that cloud platforms are impervious to the risk of freak weather conditions or other accidental outages.

Danger lies in having just one provider–even if the provider is a giant

Just a couple years ago, AWS suffered a huge outage because a historic storm hit its Northern Virginia data center, forcing a number of businesses offline. Relying on a single cloud provider to handle data redundancy and resiliency is good. Relying on multiple cloud providers is even better.

Protect data by diversifying vendors

That’s why we recommend federated clouds for true disaster resilience. By spreading the risk between two or more cloud vendors, business continuity isn’t tied closely to the performance of a single vendor. The simplest example is basic data storage. A phrase commonly heard in the IT world is that data isn’t backed up unless it’s backed up three times. An offsite backup with a single cloud vendor isn’t really a backup. But the chances of that data being lost are reduced by orders of magnitude if it is replicated across several cloud storage vendors.

Choosing the best vendors, provisioning cloud infrastructure from multiple vendors, and managing federated clouds can be extremely complex: lots of management dashboards, lots vendors to pay, and compatibility issues. ComputeNext’s cloud integration layer makes building redundant, resilient federated clouds much easier. By creating a control interface and billing portal that brings together the best cloud vendors in the world, the ComputeNext cloud brokerage offers companies the opportunity to build a truly resilient infrastructure that leverages the most powerful mix of platforms on the market.

Image: Flikr/kakela

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