Dead Services, Outages Darken Cloud

By Doug Barney

How many times has your PC crashed over the course of your working life? Hundreds? Now how many of your favorite software programs are no longer available? Dozens?

These same issues are now happening in the cloud, and MSPs can find gold trying to solve both problems.

A recent commentary “The Dark Side of Cloud Services and How MSPs Can Help” addresses the killing off of cloud services users have come to love, and in some cases depend on.

Author Jessica Davis is bullish on the cloud, but sees a down side. With the cloud “you are putting all your trust in another organization to guard your data and your computing. Who are they? How long have they been in business? Can you trust them? Those are some of the questions that should be on business owners’ minds as they look for the right company to deal with in the cloud,” Davis wonders.

Data protection is one thing. But what about protecting your favorite application from being cancelled? Here Davis points to Google killing off its Google Reader. In fact, Google kills off legions of products with little fanfare. “Given the ephemeral quality of clouds, cloud vendors and the services they create, any business would be wise to carefully vet who trust as a caretaker for their IT and data,” Davis argues.

Fortunately MSPs could step into the breach. “Managed service providers are absolutely positioned to be the hero in all of this. MSPs are in a position to vet cloud providers for customers. They are also positioned to help businesses mitigate the risks of putting data in the cloud. Who better to migrate data from one cloud service provider to another in an age of shifting clouds?” Davis contends.  “O’Reilly Radar coins the phrase “Stability as a service” in this headline about Google’s recent moves. Consider using this example and this phrase in your discussions with customer business leaders. That’s one more thing that MSPs can offer their customers that vendors can’t.”

Outage Ouches

Dead services may be a bother, but a cloud service outage is a whole heap of trouble. And these outages occur more than you might think. Fact is, some 40 percent of IT managers were hit with a cloud service outage, this according to research commissioned by TeamQuest, an IT optimization products and services company.

And these outages occur despite large cloud provider bills. "With nearly one-third of respondents spending $1 million or more on cloud services annually, unplanned outages in the forty percent range won't be tolerated by business leaders or their customers," said TeamQuest Director of Product Management Scott Adams.

It is incumbent on IT, perhaps with the help of MSPs, to vet cloud services providers. “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," argues Adams. "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."

Edited by Brooke Neuman

MSPToday Editor at Large

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