Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Sydney, Australia faced an outage on Sunday, June 5, 2016. Many websites and apps went down causing IT teams to scramble to get their services back up and running. Outages are a fact of life, whether data centers, public/private/hybrid clouds, or the power grid. But were your cloud applications built to failover during this outage?
Amazon did a great job handling the outage by providing a detailed summary of what happened and getting their instances back up and running in a few hours. But it does serve as a good lesson. Just like with on-premises data centers, outages in the public cloud happen. SoftNAS customers running in a high-availability configuration in the AWS Sydney region did not have any downtime.
How to Avoid Storage Downtime on AWS
SoftNAS recommends architecting your solutions on AWS to account for failure at the server level or availability zone level. This means running your storage in a high-availability (HA) configuration and across AWS availability zones. HA aims to maintain uninterrupted service – typically 99.999%. Basically, you should only expect to be down for 5 minutes a year with HA.
Businesses should also take advantage of Amazon’s Cross-Region Replication, a feature that automatically replicates your data across different AWS regions.
The primary reason why your business needs high availability and cross-region replication is in the economics. You’re likely to be offline more often and for longer periods of time without an HA strategy. Plus the cost of downtime to your business is going to be large.
There’s more to it than just the cold hard numbers. Here are a few reasons why high availability and cross-region replication are so crucial to businesses in the cloud:
- Your reputation will improve as your brand is known for its reliability versus your competitors
- Reduce customer impact during planned maintenance. In many cases, you can completely avoid service disruption during planned maintenance events
- If your customers are in two geographic locations, you can maintain object copies in AWS regions that are geographically closer to your users to minimize latency.
SoftNAS High Availability and No Downtime Guarantee
During the AWS Sydney outage, SoftNAS customers in Australia were able to keep their services, applications and websites up and running. Because they took advantage of SoftNAS’ High Availability features. And we back up all of that with the SoftNAS No Downtime Guarantee. Our customers were able to automatically failover to a new instance and experienced no interruptions in service.
You can always check on the status of AWS by visiting the AWS Service Health Dashboard. Be sure to subscribe to a service’s RSS feed to immediately be notified of interruptions.
Have you calculated the cost of downtime to your business?