Building a Resilient Cloud Should Be Step One in Your Disaster Recovery Plan
The best way to handle a disaster is to avoid experiencing the disaster in the first place. It isn’t always possible to prevent all IT outages, but building resilient infrastructure is an important contributor to the reliability of your systems. Cloud systems generally come with a high level of built-in resilience, but design and implementation decisions can make your cloud even more reliable.
Building a More Resilient Cloud
As always, start by understanding your requirements. This will generally need to be tailored to match the needs of each specific workload and each specific business unit. Once you’ve done that, you should identify each workload’s points of failure, including the service it depends upon.
Then, leverage cloud resources to meet those needs. This can include deploying in multiple cloud regions to provide an alternate site in case of a local failure. Another approach is to redesign an application to take a microservices approach and minimize the impact of any component’s being unavailable. In some cases, building resilient cloud means building a resilient multicloud environment. No matter what design you use, where possible, build in the ability to automatically respond to an unavailable service.
Remember that cloud access relies on network access, so make sure you’ve built a resilient network. This requires ensuring you have backup power sources, multiple routers, and potentially multiple ISPs to ensure connectivity. Even if your network links are up, you won’t be able to connect to cloud without DNS, so make sure you’ve got multiple ways to access multiple DNS servers.
Keep the Cloud Resilient
In order to ensure your cloud remains resilient, automate your deployment processes to ensure consistency across all versions, regions, and clouds.
Don’t ignore monitoring, and be alert for situations that aren’t a problem yet but are trending in the wrong direction. Then intervene before they cross the red line. Monitor third party services in addition to cloud provider services.
In addition, don’t wait for there to be a problem to confirm you have the resiliency you think you do. Simulate failures and ensure the automated recovery procedures work the way you expect.
Finally, no matter how resilient you think your design is, recognize that there’s still the possibility of a widespread failure that defeats any self-healing capability. You still should develop a comprehensive disaster recovery plan to guide manual actions to bring services back online when a major problem develops.
Prescient Solutions designs resilient cloud infrastructure and develops comprehensive disaster recovery strategies to support businesses in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. Contact us to learn more about leveraging the resilient capabilities of cloud to reduce the risk of IT disasters.