Storage channel players are being urged to learn from Amazon Web Services (AWS) recent woes and refine their cloud business continuity strategies.
Cloud service provider AWS suffered a service outage last month that lead to its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Relational Database Service (RDS) going offline for several days.
The downtime resulted in users of several websites, including social networking sites Foursquare, Reddit and Quora, encountering technical difficulties for much of that time.
Online backup provider Asigra said the AWS case highlights the need for VARs to have a contingency plan in place should their cloud provider suffers similar downtime.
Eran Farajun, executive vice president of Asigra, told ChannelWeb: "The channel needs to have some measure of control over the cloud services they connect their customers to.
"If an Amazon customer, [for example], is irate, the channel needs to provide them with the option of switching to a different provider, or offer to move the application they are using from the cloud back in house."
Channel firms that fail to take action in this way run the risk of losing business, Farajun warned.
"If firms look like they are not able to do anything or offer alternatives, then they will not be adding any value to the relationship and someone else will," he explained.
Ray Quattromini, managing director of storage VAR Fortuna Data Systems, said end users also need to appreciate that, although the concept is relatively new, the architecture cloud is built on is not.
"Cloud components are not something out of Star Trek," he said. "They are the same storage arrays that are available from a large number of vendors and, from time-to-time, they fail."
The channel could also do more to help end users make better choices about what data and applications they should move to the cloud.
"There are a number of questions end users should be asking before they sign up for cloud services," he explained. "For instance, how long can they survive without access to their data, should they be entrusting the cloud with their business critical applications and should they also invest in having their data stored onsite as a secondary backup?"
In the long run, Asigra's Farajun doubts these high-profile outages will harm end user adoption of cloud services
"In the short term, these outages will remind users that nobody is infallible," he added. "As time goes on, they will happen less and the cloud delivery model will become the most popular style of computing."
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