Thunderstorms tore through the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. this weekend, causing widespread power outages that affected an Amazon Web Services datacenter in North Virginia.
Storms on the East Coast have shown us that disruptions in the cloud are inevitable, whether by the hand of Mother Nature or human mishaps. Enterprises have to respond with an infrastructure strategy that leverages the benefits of a cloud, and hedges that with a behind-the-firewall presence, giving them protection in a variety of circumstances.
Amazon's outage followed a day after another high profile cloud services providers experienced problems. On Thursday, several Salesforce customers in North America and Europe could not access the CRM platform due to "a rare dual-failure in our storage tier and in the active standby of our storage tie.
A rare reported cloud failure incident does not reveal that for a premium price it is possible to purchase fail-over data processing. It is also not clear whether data centers without back-up generators were also prone to failure. It is unlikely that for the 700 DoD data centers there were sufficient fail-over provisions in place.
Back-up generators are now insufficient of high security applications. Even though electric power may be available, the communication connections from a data center may be also broken. Only a fully redundant multi-site distribution of fail-over clouds, such as now available from Google, can provide the necessary safeguards for essential critical applications.