Cloud Provider recovers from Downtime

March 3, 2011
By grippen

How is SaaS impacted by Gmail Hiccup?

SaaS - resilient or captivephoto credit: Flickr, Sara and Mike Scott

SaaS - Resilient or Captive?

Kevin Purdy summarizes the weekend Gmail outage and provides several backup options in his article on Lifehacker, How to Back Up Your Gmail the Easy and Cheap Way. At ERP Cloud News, we see this as an opportunity to debate the benefits of SaaS and outsourcing.

Information from Lifehacker Article

As you may have heard, over this weekend, Gmail lost the data of around 40,000 users, or 0.02 percent of Gmail’s estimated 200 million users that subscribe to the Gmail email services. This meant, for a period of 24 hours, some users had no access to anything they had ever sent or received when using their emails (can you imagine the horror by many when they found their email history completely blank?). The good news is that everybody got their data back because Gmail keeps tape backups of everything, and the Google’s army of engineers where able to fix the problem, and do so faster and better than most individuals could do it themselves.

More Confidence in Cloud and SaaS

Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Those from the half-empty camp would suggest that you should not take the chance with SaaS because your application performance is at the mercy of external providers. Those in the half-full camp would focus on the fact that backup procedures, monitoring, restoration, and professional operations were in place that may not be available in a mid-sized business.

We see the glass half-full. The Gmail outage is another good reason for using SaaS and Cloud computing. The responsibility for the technical operation and maintenance of systems is best left to expert organizations who are 100% dedicated to running applications. Cloud computing provides the hardware and operating system efficiencies, making it easier and less expensive to run applications and hopefully easier to fix problems faster. What we see from the Gmail mishap should give everyone more confidence about using the cloud because it shows how quickly problems can be fixed. Frankly, other services might not be so fast to provide a solution. Plus if the technical glitch happened to you, would you have what it takes to make everything right? How strict are your backup procedures? Are application experts working on the weekends? Are your recovery processes in place?

The power of choice for your ERP application

As always, we recommend that you leave yourself options. If you have IT expertise in house, don’t want to pay SaaS recurring fees, or don’t think application up-time is critical, then run your ERP system internally. If you want to outsource to the experts in an economical manner, then the Cloud and SaaS are your best option.

Most importantly, will your ideal solution today be different from your ideal solution tomorrow as your requirements and company change? If so, pick an ERP solution that allows you to switch between on-premise/in-house and SaaS/outsourced.

See also: Cloud service outages and deployment options

 

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One Response to “ Cloud Provider recovers from Downtime ”

  1. Aaron Rudger on March 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Clear gap exposed here is the ability of enterprises to objectively monitor the performance of critical applications like ERP from a user perspective in such a way as to enforce the SLAs their cloud providers are supposedly ensuring. Availability, as reported by the provider alone (e.g. http://trust.salesforce.com) should not be the standard. Real business impact management in a private cloud environment must be enforced by end-user perspective monitoring.

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