How to Handle Potential Cloud Downtime

Several organizations are switching to cloud services as it offers them numerous benefits in terms of effectiveness as well as price. Cloud services also tend to cut the downtime cost, which is another reason why companies prefer them over the others. Downtime negatively impacts the finances of a company, thus no serious business owner can really afford it. Downtime has its costs and every IT professional is aware of this fact.


When it comes to cloud services, people are of the belief that the third party providers are able to deploy several continuity technologies to ensure maximum outcome. Majority of the SLAs (Service Level Agreements) produced by the cloud service providers guarantee minimum downtime because of unscheduled interruptions. Thus, the flexibility as well as the service level agreements provided by the cloud service companies encourage companies to switch to the cloud and at the same time restores a sense of security.

Is downtime really minimized?

Even after all this, the primary question that still lingers is whether cloud computing really reduces downtime or not. What’s the strategy followed in case of a downtime? What are costs to the organization because of the downtime? People often tend to overlook the costs associated with downtime and they believe that it would be solved by the cloud strategy that has already been prepared. However, if you really want to find out the actual downtime cost then you will have to carry out a few complex calculations.

Cloud presents a very dynamic environment and pricing structure (pay-as-you-go) makes it even more complex to take into consideration every operational cost on the cloud. Thus, you will never be able to calculate the exact costs of downtime. Some of the operational costs associated with cloud services are fees charged and other incidentals like connectivity and staff. Any calculation that you do can change because of the changes in the scale, changes in the contractual prices etc.

Downtime costs of cloud services can be huge and companies will have to protect themselves from losing money when the cloud services go down bring them down as well. Some of the steps that organizations can do to handle potential cloud downtime are as follows:

  • SLA with the cloud service provider: Companies that host their services on the cloud need to get into a service level agreement with the cloud service providers – this is a standard practice followed by majority of the companies. The service providers guarantee at some up-time and in case you identify any kind of violation of the agreement, you can demand a compensation for the loss your company had to suffer.
  • Carry out a risk analysis: Cloud outages and related risk analysis will lead you to understanding the critical assets of the company. You need to find out the chances of an outage that you company might suffer. You also will have to find out whether the outages will affect the company’s bottom-line or not. You will also have to design or find out the mitigation strategies that would diminish downtime. You will have to be ready with all these if you wish to enjoy uninterrupted cloud services.
  • Find out the exact costs associated with an outage: You will have to determine the exact cost or losses that your company has to bear for every outage. Once you are able to determine the costs pertaining to downtime, you will become aware of the investment that you will make for the IT resources and business infrastructure.
  • Get the on-premise system along with the cloud services – Downtime can be avoided if you host some of the services in the on-premise system. Do not outsource everything as cloud providers do not offer custom services and if you require any kind of special service, you might not get them. Get the on-premise system to run some of your customized services so that you are not entirely dependent on the cloud.

Image Source: Cloud Computing Data Security

Published by Michelle Patterson

Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

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