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Using Multiple Clouds to Improve IT Resilience

Historical events suggest there is wisdom in relying on more than one cloud

A recent GigaOm article proclaimed “There’s no need to be a one-cloud company.” The article proceeded to highlight reasons why organizations ought to consider distributing their cloud-based applications and risk across multiple cloud providers. While such a tactic may seem unnecessary given the redundancy and SLAs that many cloud providers offer, historical events suggest there is indeed wisdom in relying on more than one cloud.

Nearly one year has elapsed since the Amazon EC2 outage of 2011 that took down a number of online businesses including Reddit, HootSuite, Foursquare and Quora, but the impact has not been forgotten. One of the key takeaways from that outage was that organizations using cloud-based IT are responsible for building and following best practices for protecting their infrastructure against outages of all types –not just service interruptions, but also user errors, viruses and even data loss. Off-site backup and disaster recovery are standard practices for traditional on-premise IT. For organizations running their business-critical applications in the cloud, achieving the same levels of resilience means extending infrastructure “off-cloud” or across multiple clouds.

While one can concoct elaborate schemes for extending compute environments across multiple clouds, a simple starting point is extending backup and data protection off-cloud. Cloud gateway solutions that operate in cloud compute environments, like CloudArray, are ideal for backing up or replicating business-critical application data to different physical locations in the same cloud or to external cloud providers.

Although cloud storage gateways are more frequently deployed in on-premise environments, they are equally effective replicating data from cloud-to-cloud. For organizations lacking on-premise infrastructure, cloud-to-cloud backup, replication and continuous data protection can help them meet recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) required for their critical data.

Cloud storage gateways enable organizations to make their data and applications in the cloud more resilient with the disaster recovery capability that is an essential aspect of most IT deployments. If you are running or thinking about running business-critical applications in the cloud, consider the peace of mind afforded by off-cloud data protection.

More Stories By Nicos Vekiarides

Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.

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