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Building a Cloud Failover Policy

12 March 2012 No Comment

The goal of a cloud failover policy is to ensure cloud service is available at least 99.5 percent of the time. It should focus on how a Software as a Service (SaaS) application, Platform as a Service (PaaS) platform, or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) virtual machines running in a cloud service can be transferred from a failing data center to a healthy one in order to provide nearly uninterrupted service to cloud customers.

Within a few years, most organizations and institutions will either have moved a portion of their data to the cloud, will be in the process of transferring it, or will be deep into planning some amount of cloud usage — their two chief concerns will still be reliability and security. Unfortunately, many organizations still employ a “reactive” response when a failure occurs instead of taking more prudent proactive steps: The creation of a cloud failover policy with cloud-specific riders, each detailing components and tasks. The article provides a roadmap for such a policy and illustrates policy riders and scenarios of what proactive actions can be taken when failures happen.

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