When you’re talking about cloud services, uptime is crucial. There are certainly a variety of things that affect uptime, but more uptime is certainly better, especially when you’re talking about using the cloud for virtual infrastructure items or disaster recovery.
With regard to networks (including those a cloud is comprised of), it’s useful to note that uptime and availability are two different concepts. Systems can be up, but unavailable during a network outage, so the most important metric is really availability. The big goal for many companies is to achieve “five nines”, which is 99.999 percent, which is the percentage of time the systems are up and available in a year, outside of scheduled maintenance. 99.999 percent of uptime only allows for an average of 25.9 seconds of downtime for an entire month, which is a mere 5.26 minutes per year—it’s pretty negligible for most businesses. Slightly less, but still very impressive, is “four nines” or 99.99 percent, which is only 4.32 minutes of downtime a month.
Four minutes is much too little downtime to effect businesses is most cases. Luckily, StorageCraft Cloud users experience 99.99 percent uptime with our offering, which is high, especially when some vendors only see 99.9 percent of uptime (43.9 minutes of downtime per month) or even less.
Uptime is essential, of course, but what’s more important is the overall reliability of a cloud vendor. Some cloud vendors have historically poor numbers when it comes to uptime or take ludicrous amounts of time to complete maintenance. Be careful vetting vendors, and be sure to use one that’s proven itself through growth and reliability.
And while you need to be able to depend on a reliable cloud vendor when it comes to uptime, your clients need to be able to depend on you when it comes to actually using cloud services in emergency situations. Suppose a client’s domain server fails and you need to get it up quickly. If you’re backing it up to our cloud, the server will be ready to use in an instant, but you need to be able to make it function with the rest of the network so clients can keep doing business. The best way to do this is to test ahead of time.
We’ve said it before: backups certainly aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. The important thing to look at when you’re talking about any cloud service (or any disaster recovery plan) is the importance of testing. We recommend that our cloud users test their systems quarterly to see that they can quickly virtualize the devices they are backing up to the cloud. That way, it’s easy to see that everything is functioning as it should, and users can make sure they’re familiar with how to use our services when they need them the most.
Are you curious what StorageCraft Cloud Services can do for your business? Visit this page.