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Earthquake-Proof Cloud?

Written by don

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After the Quake: Loss of Life...and Data

What can the tragedy in Japan teach us about the Cloud?

One big lesson: earthquakes destroy or damage corporate infrastructure — including IT operations, with their servers and cooling systems that keep businesses running.

After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a lot of businesses were left with damaged IT. Connections were down; apps were useless…and forget about accessing your data.

That’s why companies in and outside Japan are putting new emphasis on Cloud computing — which is Internet-based. Shared services, resources and software are provided to users on demand.

I recently read about one company, Singapore-based telecommunications giant SingTel, that is now seeing more of its customers thinking about disaster-recovery measures, and how they can leverage cloud computing to keep their businesses up and running if a quake or other natural calamity should hit.

Also in the article, VMware’s Southeast Asia GM Ed Lenta said: “The unfortunate reality is that a lot of our customers in Japan found that their virtualized infrastructures were far easier to recover then their physical infrastructures.

“Virtualization doesn’t just drive consolidation, it standardizes the atomic units of your data center,” he said.

To help companies migrate to the Cloud, VMWare and SingTel are partnering to introduce a new infrastructure-as-a-service offering in Singapore and across Asia. A hybrid cloud, it will be targeted at large businesses, and will enable them to lease IT infrastructure such as processing power and storage, without losing control over sensitive data. It will be called PowerON Compute.

Well, let me just say that a lot less powerful forces than earthquakes have laid IT systems low — including cloud-based infrastructures (I’m thinking about outages and security breaches that have plagued cloud providers).

Yes, it’s true that having cloud-based apps and data available during a disaster (either an act of God or man/woman), can be a great savings. But even cloud providers need monitoring, as they can go out or down, and it is prudent to find a monitoring service that can operate 24/7 and quickly notify you when things go wrong.


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