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6 steps to survive a cloud outage


Step 1: Craft a DR strategy

Source:  Adobe stock
Visual Editor: Sarah Evans

The first step to survive any cloud outage is to create and implement a disaster recovery (DR) plan and have it in place long before a disaster ever occurs. While cloud providers offer a wealth of services and resources, it's up to the user to create, deploy, configure and monitor those services and resources for each workload.

The actual DR strategy can vary radically depending on the needs of the workload and its importance to the enterprise. Everyday applications may be well-suited for conventional data backups and VM snapshots to secondary locations -- such as other provider regions, another cloud provider or even to local storage resources.

An advanced DR plan can employ standby instances that are deployed but idle in another region and ready to take over when the primary instance is disrupted. Even more comprehensive DR strategies can include distributed clustering that runs duplicate workload instances across multiple cloud regions or availability zones. For example, such a strategy can include the use of load balancers to distribute traffic across multiple instances and redirect traffic when a cloud outage occurs in that region.

An extreme permutation of these duplication efforts is a multi-cloud DR strategy in which the workload is operated redundantly across two or more clouds -- such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, or Azure and Google Cloud -- to guard against the possibility of an entire cloud disruption.

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