How to keep downtime to a minimum with the right cloud computing support

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The cloud has transformed the way we do business today, improving infrastructure scalability and cost models for everything from software to data storage to disaster recovery. As with any IT solution, however, cloud computing isn’t without its risks.

In 2012, the International Working Group on Cloud Computing Resiliency (IWGCR) claimed that cloud downtime had cost £45 million over five...

By Matt Kingswood, 22 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Data Management, Infrastructure, SLA, Vendors.

Microsoft launches cloud services due diligence checklist

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Microsoft has launched a cloud services due diligence checklist aimed at providing organisations with more standardised procedures for their potential cloud push.

The checklist is based on the emerging ISO/IEC 19086 standard which focuses on cloud service level agreements, and gives structure to organisations of all sizes and sectors to identify their objectives and requirements, before comparing the offerings of different cloud service providers.

“Cloud adoption is no longer simply a...

By James Bourne, 17 October 2016, 1 comment. Categories: Microsoft, Privacy, Security, SLA.

Cloud Industry Forum hails SLALOM as “major step forward” for cloud SLAs

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SLALOM, a European Commission-established initiative which aims to provide greater clarity for businesses dealing with cloud service level agreements (SLAs), has launched its final set of standardised contact terms, with the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) arguing it ‘reduces the uncertainty’ of migrating to the cloud.

The CIF, who is listed as a partner of SLALOM alongside service provider Atos, legal firm Bird and Bird and various educational institutions, says research into the...

By James Bourne, 17 June 2016, 1 comment. Categories: Economy, SLA, Vendors.

UK government report advocates fairer terms for cloud storage users

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Around 30% of UK adults use cloud storage in a personal capacity, according to a report released today by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – but the governing body notes concerns over some vendor practices which conflict with consumer law.

The report, which can be found in full here at a whopping 218 pages, shares concerns, such as companies being able to...

By James Bourne, 27 May 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Regulation, Research, SLA, Software, Storage.

Google Compute Engine falls over for 18 minutes, promises to do better next time

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Google’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering Compute Engine lost connectivity across all regions for 18 minutes on April 11 after problems experienced with a bug in its network configuration management software.

In a status update discussing the outage and how it occurred posted yesterday, the search giant confirmed the event affected Compute Engine only, and bemoaned how its ‘canary step’ process – a configuration deployed to a single site to...

By James Bourne, 14 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: IaaS, Infrastructure, SLA.

Google cloud falls over after routing error, strives to remove manual link activation

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Google Compute Engine went down for approximately 70 minutes last week, the company has confirmed, making certain Internet destinations unreachable from the europe-west1 region during that time.

The issue first came to light at 1326 PST on November 23 with a status update, before a further missive at 1432 confirming the problems should have been resolved.

Four days later, Google explained what exactly went...

By James Bourne, 30 November 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Infrastructure, SLA.

Why human error is still the biggest risk to your cloud system going down

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The number one risk to system availability remains human error, according to the latest disaster recovery industry report from CloudEndure.

The research examines the various protocols businesses have in place for downtime if – or when – it occurs. On a scale of one to 10, human errors – including application bugs – hit 8.1, compared to network failures (7.2), cloud provider downtime (6.9) and external threats (6.7).

Even though the majority (83%) of...

By James Bourne, 05 June 2015, 1 comment. Categories: Data & Analytics, Disaster Recovery, Infrastructure, SLA.

Research argues hidden costs contribute to a ‘cloud hangover’ for businesses

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It’s the morning after the night before. You’ve had a bit too much, your head’s pounding, and you’re frantically searching your brain for anything you might have said or did that you’ll be paying for later.

We’ve all been there. Yet according to new research from Sungard Availability Services, it’s a similar effect at work when the IT department buys cloud solutions. 87% of the 150 UK-based senior IT decision makers polled say they have...

By James Bourne, 30 March 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Adoption, Data & Analytics, Data Management, Economy, SLA, Vendors.

Severalnines: Mixing DevOps with database management and going its own way

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Sweden-based database management provider Severalnines is an interesting company. Its name would suggest SLAs but the firm, with approximately 7000 users, supports MySQL, MariaDB and MongoDB among others and enables businesses to support both SQL and NoSQL open source databases in the cloud or on-premise.

Yet the way Severalnines has built its success is of most interest. Instead of going cap in hand to VCs and building up cash without going near making a profit, Severalnines has...

By James Bourne, 19 March 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Developers, OpenSource, SLA.

Report shows majority of cloud providers not hitting SLA targets

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76% of organisations surveyed by CDW in its Cloud 401 report say at least one cloud vendor failed to meet their SLAs.

The report, released in February, found reliability (43%) as the most important metric for cloud service providers, far ahead of cost (28%) and ability to integrate with existing infrastructure (27%), meaning a double whammy for providers who couldn’t meet their uptime figures.

Cloud...

By James Bourne, 18 March 2015, 1 comment. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Management, SLA.

CenturyLink: Why complexity, not the cloud vendor, locks you in

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It continues to be an extremely busy time for CenturyLink Cloud. Amidst a plethora of news and acquisitions, one stood out: the buyout of disaster recovery as a service software provider DataGardens.

As this publication has previously examined, cloud disaster recovery is certainly one of the more popular buzzwords in the IT industry right now, yet a lack of clarity still pervades. There are degrees of...

By James Bourne, 12 March 2015, 1 comment. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Management, Disaster Recovery, SLA.

Cloud disaster recovery in a nutshell: How does it work?

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Disaster recovery - the IT industry’s latest buzz words. Although a popular subject, many of the articles out there are not providing accurate or enough information to demystify the concept. How does one explain disaster recovery to a SMB owner or an organisation’s president without confusing them more than clarifying? Or without boring the hell out of them? Here’s my attempt.

First, there are a few terms you’ll need to acquaint yourself with. Like RTO and...

By Rhonda Sherwood, 24 February 2015, 5 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Loss, Data Management, Disaster Recovery, SLA.

Google Cloud Platform goes down for two hours after connectivity issue

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Google has resolved an issue with Google Compute Engine whereby its platform went down for two hours.

The network issue where instances in ‘multiple zones’ lost connectivity first began at 2259 US Pacific time (0659 GMT), with Google first issuing an update on 2346.

“The problem with network connectivity in Google Compute Engine is resolved as of shortly after 0100 US/Pacific,” a Google status page explained....

By James Bourne, 19 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: PaaS, Platform, SLA.

Google launches PerfKit, open source benchmarking tool for cloud performance

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Google has announced the launch of PerfKit, an open source cloud benchmarking tool aimed at aiding developers evaluating performance features.

The search giant claims it has worked with over 30 leading researchers, companies and customers in developing this tool, as well as educational institutes: Stanford and MIT will be having quarterly discussions on default benchmarks and settings on the back of this development.

Google claims PerfKit is unique because not only does it report on...

By James Bourne, 13 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Platform, SLA.

Examining AWS' uptime in 2014: Figures show marked improvement

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Having been ranked as one of the top cloud providers for uptime, new figures show Amazon Web Services (AWS) having a 41% reduction in performance issues quarter to quarter during 2014.

The figures, from CloudEndure, see AWS with 127 errors during Q114, a greater number than the following three quarters combined, with 43 in Q2, 37 in Q3, and 26 in Q4.

AWS EC2 was the most frequent faller in 2014, with 46 errors, compared to scalable DNS provider Route 53 (24), network monitoring service...

By James Bourne, 26 January 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Data & Analytics, Data Centres, Data Management, Infrastructure, SLA.

Disaster recovery experts dig down into Azure cloud outages over past 12 months

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The majority of Microsoft’s service errors in the first quarter of 2014 were advisory, while there were significantly more service interruptions in the following three quarters, according to analysis carried out by CloudEndure.

The figures, taken from Azure’s Service Health Dashboard across last year, saw three full service interruptions in Q1, a whopping 28 in Q2, 16 in Q3 and zero in the final quarter. The highest number of errors came in Q1 (259), yet also produced the...

By James Bourne, 19 January 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Loss, Disaster Recovery, Infrastructure, SLA.

AWS, Google, SoftLayer score highly in ranking of most reliable cloud providers

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Cloud benchmarking provider CloudHarmony has updated its metrics, and found AWS, Google and SoftLayer to be among the most reliable public cloud providers in 2014.

The figures, which can be found on its service status page here, saw Amazon’s S3 register 23 outages across nine regions resulting in a 2.69 hour downtime across the year, while Amazon EC2 clocked up 12 outages resulting in a just over two hour outage...

By James Bourne, 13 January 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Loss, Data Management, SLA.

Cloud best practices: Compliance, campaigns and SLAs

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The cloud computing track at Apps World Europe yesterday threw up a series of interesting case studies, opinions and analysis.

John Finch, CIO of the Bank of England, spoke in the keynote session and revealed the bank’s use of cloud technologies only extended to the public-facing front end; John Pillar, CTO of Discover & Deliver spoke of a huge cloud-based IT project at former employer Marks & Spencer, and a morning panel session examined SLAs and mobile cloud best...

By James Bourne, 13 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Case Studies, Compliance, SLA.

Cloud service providers and end users: Let's lose the rigidity of the SLA, argues exec

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A senior executive at cloud services provider Claranet has claimed that most cloud services providers and end users are relying too much on the standard service level agreement.

Paul Marland, Claranet director of account management, believes that cloud service today is far more dynamic. Contracts can – and should – change dependent on the customer’s need, and the classic SLA prohibits that.

“The vast majority of SLAs don’t really get to the heart of...

By James Bourne, 16 October 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Data Management, SLA.