This is a quote we often hear from IT managers at networking events. We aren’t always in a position to respond at the time, but these kinds of comments stay with us and this week we thought we would expand our thoughts on it.

Cloud reliability is counted in “nines”. Three nines are good, that’s a potential 8 hours of downtime per year. It is what cloud computing providers offered in the early days. Now it can be counted in the four nines, which is 52 minutes of downtime a year or even five nines, which is 7 minutes. Four nines are 99.99% uptime, while five is 99.999%. You get the idea.

So I wondered what small or medium-sized business is able to build an internal network that can guarantee such uptime? Not one I have ever come across aside from web hosting companies and cloud vendors themselves. Even with huge budgets, the average SMB simply doesn’t have the need for such a setup.

To be able to guarantee any kind of uptime you need a completely diverse fibre network with redundant servers running warm standby. That’s two completely separate points of presence, two diverse internal networks and two server rooms running parallel. Plus, two monitoring systems and at least two people to monitor and maintain these systems.

You don’t need us to tell you how expensive that kind of solution would be!

The vast majority of cloud vendors offer at least 99.99% uptime. Given the demands of business, it’s the least they can offer. They also provide fully diverse networks and all those elements needed to deliver uptime guarantees.

It’s about more than diversity

Uptime is usually only used in the context of hardware. That’s fine on paper but operationally there is much more to uptime than just the hardware. Security is also a fundamental of uptime, as its traffic.

Which got me wondering about that quote. Was the IT manager factoring in load balancing, traffic management and security into his claim? Is his network fully protected? Does it encrypt all data before letting it out of the internal network? Does the company monitor traffic patterns and have plans in place to manage it? Do they have the kind of multi-layered security solution we are always advocating?

All these things are provided by quality cloud vendors as part of the price. With those exceptions aside, we would love to hear from any SMB who has that kind of setup in-house. However, work with Excalibur and you could benefit from all of that at a fraction of the price.

Contact us to learn more about moving to the cloud.

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