Trent Odgers, Cloud & Hosting Manager, Africa at Veeam, analyses what organisations should be looking for in an IaaS provider.
Following the launch of two multi-national data centres in South Africa earlier this year, adopting cloud-based solutions feeling like the first step into some brave new world are well and truly behind us. However, this is ushering a new era of multi-cloud deployment – one which is attracting attention, questions and scepticism from local businesses.
The complexity of maintaining availability within a multi-cloud environment is the reliance on several Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). While all major vendors and CSPs will make backup and disaster recovery (DR) solutions available to their customers, each provider has different protocols, shared responsibility models, service level agreements (SLAs) and capabilities. The last thing any business wants to hear when disaster strikes is that they are not adequately protected or that recovery has failed.
While no business, regardless of whether it is using multi-cloud or not, can guarantee that it will never experience unplanned downtime, every business can ensure that it is prepared for this possibility.
Guaranteeing availability is not just a case of a company having its own resilient backup and recovery options in place; companies must be able to trust that their third-party providers are following suit. After all, what would be the point of keeping everything in working order if your staff or customers still cannot access the services they need, when they need them?
The knock-on effect of such incidents can be extremely costly; the 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management report shows that the average annual cost of downtime is R300-million, which is not something many companies can survive. Businesses looking to take advantage of multi-cloud environments must ensure that their apps and data are always available – and that their culture of data-driven decision-making is fully supported to maintain customer confidence and brand reputation.
How can businesses mitigate against such a costly risk? Businesses can start their preparations by first ensuring they understand where disaster recovery sits within the context of their overarching business strategy. This is where an impact assessment comes in.
Businesses need to take the time to identify which apps and businesses processes are critical to daily operations. They must calculate the maximum amount of downtime they can stand for each of these before they fail.
In addition, businesses opting for multi-cloud need to ensure that they have an availability solution which sits across their entire cloud platform, making cloud data protection easy with a seamless process for sending data offsite to the cloud.
The launch of multi-national data centres provides businesses of all sizes with a cost-effective, reliable and fast alternative to international options. Companies must ensure adequate backups are in place, SLAs are adhered to, and business continuity remain the focus. Businesses embracing multi-cloud should not be put off by the prospect of working with multiple vendors as software-based platforms can give the peace of mind and a turnkey solution to minimising downtime.