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If you work in IT, you probably heard about the disaster that Azure had last week with their South Central US (Texas) region. This outage has been a significant problem for a lot of customers, as well as to Microsoft.
When it comes to having a high availability or disaster recovery plan in place, they become vital very quickly. Based on what we know so far, this started with a lightning strike. A lightning strike wasn’t exactly something that could be planned for or could have detected in advance. Because we couldn’t prepare for the problem, all we could do is react. Reacting to an issue like this requires planning. That planning is a High Availity or Disaster Recovery plan.
On social media, I see questions like, shouldn’t Microsoft be doing High Availability and Disaster Recovery for you if you are in Azure? My answer to that is a resounding no.
High Availability would only be useful for a full building failure like Microsoft Azure had, if it was set up recently using Zones. The High Availability would only be successful because a single building was taken offline due to the lightning strike. The outage only impacted VMs, and not entirely. The outage leads me to assume that PaaS services were able to stay online because the PaaS services are set up to use Zones within Azure. If VMs aren’t set up in Zones, then the services that they provide have no guarantee that they would stay online.
If you’ve told customers that Azure VMs will be staying up, without building High Availability into the design, then you’ve told the customer something that simply isn’t true.
Disaster Recovery isn’t included in any service that Microsoft offers unless you pay for it, and even still Disaster Recovery planning is only available on a couple of services that Microsoft provides. As Microsoft doesn’t offer Disaster Recovery on most of the services, this means that you need to plan for your Disaster Recovery needs yourself.
Yes, Disaster Recovery planning costs money, I get that. These costs might be hard for a company to swallow, but how long can the company last if the services that it depends on are offline. Can your company last for a day or two with customers getting no response to your website? These customers might assume that you’re gone out of business and use a competitors service instead of yours. That might mean that money is lost, not just now but in the future.
Disaster Recovery doesn’t have to be a full disaster recovery environment. You may be able to get away with restoring backups to get the website back up and running. You might be able to get away with a small part of your environment being set up for Disaster Recovery. You might need a full Disaster Recovery environment setup. It all depends on what your specific business needs and what you can afford.
All Clouds Can Fail
If your applications aren’t in Azure, or Amazon’s AWS service, or Google Cloud you aren’t immune to this problem. If you have a server at the office that hosts the application that runs your business, what happens if a lightning strike happens to your building and the server you have stopped working? Will your business survive? What are the plans if this happens? If you don’t have this plans, or you need to review these plans, we can help, you need to reach out to us, and we’ll see what we can do to help you out, including what kind of High Availability and Disaster Recovery plan is right for you.
Yes, High Availability and Disaster Recovery is expensive, or it can be. But when the time comes, it’s costly not to have High Availability and Disaster Recovery.