Does the cloud work with the lights out?
As with the many benefits of using cloud based services it is not until a practical scenario plays out that the true value of a particular benefit really shines through.
One of the benefits we often mention to potential clients is the fact that using a private cloud server to host their applications and data means they no longer depend on the functionality of a server (or other IT equipment) hosted within the office.
This was highlighted recently when a Habitat3 client experienced a significant power outage.
The client has three offices with 16 staff in the head office and another 12 staff located in two other offices as well as a couple of staff that work primarily from home.
When their head office lost power not long after 9am those with laptops continued to access Habitat3 via 3G but when the power was not back by 10am they made the decision to have head office staff operate from home for the rest of the day. All head office staff made their way home and logged into Habitat3 from their home PCs.
All the other staff who worked at the two smaller offices and from home on a regular basis were unaffected by the power outage as they continued to log into Habitat3 as usual.
Twelve months previously this same business was hosting its applications and data on a local server in the head office. The other two offices and remote staff logged into it to operate.
In the past the power outage would have stopped productivity for all staff across all offices. However, now with their cloud services in place all non-head office staff continued to operate unaffected and the head office staff had a “plan B” which was to travel home and operate from their home PCs.
The power returned to the head office by about 4pm that day which signified approximately 6 hours of down time. When you multiply that by 20 staff it would have resulted in 120 work hours being lost if it was not for the cloud services used.
Other examples of losing access to local servers include flood, fire, theft and hardware failure. In many cases these scenarios could cause far more downtime that a one day power outage.
Many benefits of using the cloud can be seen in terms of risk mitigation and in this particular case when the lights all went out, this business continued to operate and did not suffer the hours and hours of lost productivity they would have if using on premise servers.
More about John Perkins John is the founder and a Director of Habitat3 and is responsible for working with existing and potential clients to ensure Habitat3’s service offerings continue to meet the needs of professional services firms. John is a former IT journalist, holds an MBA in IT strategy and has worked within the IT industry for 20 years.