One of our clients asked us the following question:
“Does anyone not worry that once that hardware is outsourced and access points are strictly based on internet access that down time issues will become more of a major problem?”
It is a great question; however there are many angles to think about when going to the Cloud.
Downtime usually is related to when a server running an application or process is unavailable because of a failure or some other issue which prevents it from working properly. As far as server process and failures on the Cloud provider side, the ones not caused by your own mistakes, can happen. The Cloud providers have redundant services running, thus should one of their data centers has a failure, one would be routed to the failover location.
What happens on your end when your ISP has a failure to your home or office? What do you do then? Unfortunately the major ISPs still have outages and though they may try to keep to their SLAs, they may not be able to reinstate service in time. What do you do?
If you are in an office building that is tied to only one telecom provider, you have two choices. The first is to purchase as many wireless access points as you can from a cell phone company and pay for those monthly perpetually. The second is to find a provider of point to point optical wireless connections from a building in a line of vision from you. Hopefully they have a different telecom provider as well.
If you work from home and are worried about your own access you can usually get a choice between cable, DSL, Fiber and some other options depending on your location.
Maybe you want to give up an office and work from home?
There is also the support aspect of being in the Cloud which is rarely discussed. You no longer are in control of your network and you need to recognize this is the price you pay for wanting to be free of hardware, real estate lost to data centers, air conditioning and electric bills.
Some vendors provide a “higher” level of support service, for an additional monthly fee of course, but our experience has been it does not necessarily make anything easier…or faster to be rectified.
This move to the Cloud provides flexibility that modern organizations could be taking better advantage of for their employees. Work from home and work on your time, the ISP is down, ok, no big deal, work a later that day or night.
Once you are free of server downtime, upgrades, hardware failures, viruses, security issues you can start to think more strategically about your business directions and processes.
The tradeoff is cheaper, faster (usually) but less SLA and support availability. You can have two out of three make your selection.
If you still want to be “in charge” but not on premises, there is always colocations and hosted servers in the Cloud but those come with much costlier pricing and slightly different headaches.