Recently, Nirvanix cloud customers were left stranded when the company ended service. More than 1,000 customers were notified that they had just a few weeks to migrate 40 petabytes of data out of data centers, causing a mad scramble to recover data and house it elsewhere.
While you’re more likely to end your relationship with your cloud service voluntarily, rather than suffer a meltdown, it’s a good idea to do two things:
- Diversify your cloud service to protect yourself against a sudden ending of service
- Develop an exit strategy in case you ever need to voluntarily change cloud service providers
Diversify your cloud service by utilizing multiple cloud providers. In other words, back up your backup! If you ever need to switch cloud providers with very little notice, you won’t risk losing important data. Even better, you will have an already-established account elsewhere. Taking this step protects important data from being lost due to catastrophe, or simply being unable to move data fast enough if your service provider closes its doors.
If you feel reluctant to utilize more than one cloud service, due to the additional cost or other fears, you can still diversify your data storage by utilizing an external hard drive. Of course, it is best to keep your hard drive in a location separate from your main office, if possible, in order to reduce the risk of loss due to physical disasters like fire, flood, or theft.
Finally, it’s important to develop an exit strategy just in case you do need to quickly move data from your cloud to another location. It can take 13 days to transfer 1 TB of data from a cloud using a 10mbps connection. Make sure your exit plan takes into account your internet speed, the limitations of your equipment, your personnel resources, and the amount of data you intend to store on the cloud. Decide ahead of time how you plan to deal with a cloud emergency, so that your plan can be implemented immediately when it is needed.
Once you have a plan in place, it’s important to test it at least once per year (twice per year is even better). Go through the process of restoring data to make sure that everything runs smoothly, and that way you won’t run into any unpleasant surprises in the event of an emergency.