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October 2011, Vol. 35

Minimizing public cloud disruptions

Cloud computing depends on connectivity and availability, but those can be far from perfect with some providers. Disruptions to a public cloud can impair the productivity of an entire organization, unless data center administrators know what to do when it happens—and it will happen. In this tip, you will learn how to choose a public cloud provider and how to best respond to outages. Learning to accept cloud crashes Cloud disruptions are a fact of life, even among the most common providers. Amazon Web Services had two major outages in 2011—one in April in its Virginia data center and one in August in its Ireland data center, which was literally hit by lightning. Both crashes caused major disruptions to hundreds of Amazon cloud customers. What followed was an inevitable debate on the viability of using a public cloud for mission-critical applications. Although these types of major disruptions get the attention of the media and the blogosphere, there is a bigger issue that is ongoing about the reliability of a public cloud, such as...

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