OVH has experienced this week a major outage in multiple datacenters. As users, we have been affected by the temporary downtime of some of our favorite applications. For enterprise, it is a problem of a whole other magnitude. A day of lost turnover is a major set back in an ever more competitive market.
OVH has obviously committed to compensate its customers. The company has also handled this major failure with great professionalism, both technically and in terms of communication. The European group is not the only one to deal with these production problems: last August, Google isolated half of Japan from the Internet due to a bad BGP configuration while an Amazon S3 technician deprived us last February of the most important animated GIF website* and, in the meantime, a good part of AWS.
What these giant failures reveals is not the lack of maturity of the Cloud providers. Who would seriously doubt the technical skills of OVH, Amazon or Google that run hundreds of thousands of infrastructures every day? It is more our critical view of the Cloud that is being questioned. Even promising and innovative, the Cloud is and will remain fallible as long as there are generators of entropy between chairs and keyboards. The transition to the Cloud does not free up some dated precautions such as the PRA, for example...
Why deploy critical applications on the cloud instead of doing it on multiple clouds. There are inter-regional routing solutions with almost all infrastructure providers. A few days ago, Amazon introduced a Direct Connect Gateway to facilitate deployment to multiple AWS regions. Cloud vendors are gradually aligning themselves with corporate constraints and allowing them to engage in full availability of their applications through private connectivity offers.
The promise of the Cloud in terms of flexibility, availability must find its echo in the connectivity area. Companies that have outsourced their IT have understood it for a long time and duplicated all their network links. It should be the same with the Cloud resources.
For several years, specialists (such as Intercloud) have been offering their customers private connectivity as a service platforms, linking private and public Clouds. Many companies have chosen this flexible and efficient way to extend the control of their applications to the way they are accessed. The Internet is not enough, as long as there is a demand for availability and performance commitments, especially to many destinations spread all over the world.
The value of an application is measurable only if it is accessible in the best conditions. The Cloud is not an obstacle to the commitments on safety and performance. The era of the multi-Clouds opens up to all us.
(*) Recall for the occasion that the main purpose of the Internet is to transfer images of cats. Animated if possible...https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/opinion/sunday/how-cats-evolved-to-win-the-internet.html