The big move

CloudWhether you’re looking to move to the cloud, considering the diversification of your cloud portfolio or simply looking to compare performance and value across clouds, consider these five key questions before making any decisions:

How do you monitor your Internet infrastructure? While you may be monitoring your internal infrastructure and applications, you should also know about the external Internet connections that your customers rely on to connect to your business. If connections to a specific data centre go down or a cloud provider can’t reach important markets, your system admin should have the tools necessary to route traffic to another centre to keep your services operational. And if you’re experiencing latency or quality degradation, your IT team must know how to monitor for these issues and how to optimise performance.

Another thing to consider is knowing your ‘mean time to innocence’ – finding out how quickly and precisely you can determine when a customer-impacting issue is caused by your own application, data or compute environment.

If you are a global company, how do you ensure global availability on the cloud?  If you have end-users accessing your Internet assets at all hours of the day from points around the globe, you need to ensure your end-user experience is equal no matter where or when a customer accesses your website, app or content. Determining availability means understanding if your service is available to customers and partners. This is especially important in understanding the connection performance to your selected cloud providers and CDNs.

Distributing hosting on multiple cloud vendor sites protects customers from single site or single regional outages ensures that you have strong availability around the globe. It is also recommended that you monitor your global network to determine load levels.

Is using just one cloud provider sufficient or should you consider using multiple providers?  While not all cloud providers are created equal, using multiple services is the only foolproof business continuity and risk mitigation strategy. It also can be an effective strategy to manage cloud costs based on peak usage, cost spikes and global load balancing.

Using a variety of CSPs gives your company access to multiple cloud instances (locations), allowing you to meet customers in local markets and leverage local connections. With an advanced DNS-based traffic management solution with geo-location, you can control which cloud instances serve which customers, and by working with the right tools you can manage this from one place.

What are the biggest risks to optimal Internet performance?  The biggest risk is simply in not knowing the real-time state of your performance. It is important to know where the Internet latency issues are. Errors can occur within the network, at the CDN or ISP level, with your SaaS providers or with a customer connection.

Understanding your connections and monitoring, controlling and optimising them is the true test of Internet performance and in understanding and mitigating against weak spots in your network.

How do I keep my site up in the event of an outage?  Outages are game changing for your business and they happen with surprising regularity – more than 3,000 times every day on the global Internet. And it is difficult for most companies to detect an Internet connection failure without a way to measure between your customers and your assets.

Constant monitoring of your Internet-facing architecture is the only true way to ensure you will not be affected by outages for a prolonged period.

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