Hurricane Sandy makes a powerful case for Cloud

It was surprising to see so many big-name sites impacted earlier this week by Hurricane Sandy. Huffington Post, Gawker (still down), Gizmodo (still down), BuzzFeed all went down, just to name a few high-profile players. Even sites like JFK Airport, a key place for information in a time of disruption, lacked a backup plan and is still down as of publication.

Data centers are more virtual than ever and cloud computing allows us to host our data center assets off-premise in remote, distributed cloud computing venues. Why did anyone need to suffer an outage because of locality? They didn’t.

We get caught up in cloud computing as a way to scale up and down inexpensively and easily, a sort of disposable resource, but this event demonstrated clearly the benefit of cloud as disaster recovery…cloud as risk mitigation.

Distributed cloud

Before you think the cloud vendors are just as vulnerable, they fragment and distribute data across multiple data centers, reducing the risk of disaster, even one as widespread as Hurricane Sandy.

Beyond cloud vendors, many companies deploy cloud solutions either on-premise (and often geographically distributed), or as a hybrid model of on and off premise, depending on risk and cost strategies. These solutions bring strong risk mitigation if thought through.

This isn’t a concept without challenges. Using a cloud solution for disaster recovery means being able to stand up systems after an event in a new environment that will still have access to the cloud data, sufficient bandwidth, offer authentication, and still allow for applications to function remotely or locally. Those aren’t trivial requirements, but can be overcome with a smart, tested plan.

Silver lining

Hurricane Sandy was just the event to prove the benefit of cloud as a risk mitigation. Between Sandy and the really obvious benefits of performance, cost savings and elasticity, cloud may have gotten a big boost from Mother Nature.


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Categories: Cloud / SaaS / PaaS

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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5 Comments on “Hurricane Sandy makes a powerful case for Cloud”

  1. November 13, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Nice article. Today’s businesses don’t spend all their time thinking about the worst-case scenario. Still, with the number of natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires in just the last year alone, many companies are beginning to recognize that living without a disaster recovery plan is truly risky behavior.

    Here’s another interesting article talking about Cloud storage, backup and disaster recovery’s importance in case of hurricanes or superstorms:


  1. The data gold rush is officially on | Successful Workplace - November 3, 2012

    […] FedEx CIO shares his thoughts on the architecture required for “epic data” […]

  2. Maximizing Cloud’s silver lining – Gartner’s Massimo Pezzini | Successful Workplace - November 8, 2012

    […] Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the value of Cloud as excellent for disaster recovery, but there is so much more to Cloud that isn’t always clear. I had the great pleasure of hearing Gartner’s Massimo Pezzini present at the Gartner ITxpo in Barcelona, Spain today. […]

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