- Date: March 9, 2017
- By: Jon Anderson
So, did the March 2017 Amazon AWS outage teach you anything?
Maybe you learned something similar to cloud-based accounting provider Xero:
Xero's 862,000 customers were unable to access their accounts because of the fault at Amazon's technology arm, Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is the world's largest cloud hosting company.stuff.co.na
Xero was not alone. Businesses like Medium, Slack, and Trello also learned just how dependent on cloud-based services they are. And how much revenue they can lose when those services go down.
Obviously, Amazon isn't shutting down. But the four-hour outage serves as a warning for dependancies on smaller cloud providers that could cease operations.
How do you prepare for that?
Begin at the End
If we had written a fourth tip in this article on building a compelling cloud business case it probably would have been planning for the possible eventuality that this cloud service goes away.
Drivers of large vehicles know to scan parking lots for exit paths before they even enter. Do the same with your cloud providers - develop an exit plan before you even sign up for the service.
Yea, I know.
It's like your mom reminding you to brush your teeth before a dentist appointment. But we'll say it anyway - before anything else make sure your cloud data is backed up.
Run Fire Drills
You have probably run internal fire or severe weather drills with your team. Have a similar established, practiced process for handling these types of potentially disruptive business events.
A clearly-defined process will go a long way to prevent internal stress when the shutdown notice comes.
Stay in Touch with the Provider
Most digital service providers make the effort to communicate with users about upcoming closures. Make sure someone on your team is connected to the provider - following their blog, their github account, or subscribing to their newsletter.
Follow Provider Advice
When Google shut down its popular RSS Reader it provided guidance for current users:
Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.Google Blog
Listen to the Community
You probably weren't the only customer of this cloud-based services. Find the online hangouts of the other users and see what they are saying.
You should be able to find advice for getting all of your data back, and options for alternatives to migrate the data to. Often times other businesses will crop up to fill the market need - the way The Old Reader appeared on the scene after the Google Reader shutdown.
Reconsider the Business Case
How long have you been using this provider? A year? Two years? More?
The longer you've been using a particular cloud provider, the better the odds are that it's time to re-evaluate the business case for using it in the first place.
Sometimes the loss of a cloud service provider is a blessing in disguise, forcing you to adapt to current market realities and find cheaper, more effective solutions than this provider offered.
Got One Closing?
Just get a shutdown notice and wondering what to do? Give us a shout - we'll help you work through the situation and figure out your best strategy for moving ahead.