Increased Availability and Reliability
The availability and reliability of IT resources are directly associated with tangible business benefits. Outages limit the time an IT resource can be "open for business" for its customers, thereby limiting its usage and revenue generating potential. Runtime failures that are not immediately corrected can have a more significant impact during high-volume usage periods. Not only is the IT resource unable to respond to customer requests, its unexpected failure can decrease overall customer confidence.
A hallmark of the typical cloud environment is its intrinsic ability to provide extensive support for increasing the availability of a cloud-based IT resource to minimize or even eliminate outages, and for increasing its reliability so as to minimize the impact of runtime failure conditions.
- An IT resource with increased availability is accessible for longer periods of time (for example, 22 hours out of a 24 hour day). Cloud providers generally offer "resilient" IT resources for which they are able to guarantee high levels of availability.
- An IT resource with increased reliability is able to better avoid and recover from exception conditions. The modular architecture of cloud environments provides extensive failover support that increases reliability.
It is important that organizations carefully examine the SLAs offered by cloud providers when considering the leasing of cloud-based services and IT resources. Although many cloud environments are capable of offering remarkably high levels of availability and reliability, it comes down to the guarantees made in the SLA that typically represent their actual contractual obligations.