Cloud Optimization- How to be prepared in case of a sudden blackout like the recent Google outage?

Why are Cloud Services Important?

The rate at which data is growing is monumentally outrunning the pace at which companies can store their data locally. Cloud service providers give a flexible plan that can scale up and down according to business requirements. With the onset of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it was universally known that remote work solutions were going to become a common sight in many organizations. The ability to be able to access business applications remotely is crucial in this day and age. The last couple of years have shown just how significant it is that employees can access necessary data and resources from wherever they are situated. There is heavy speculation about the upfront costs that come with installing a robust cloud platform service. However, one must see past the initial price tag and realise how versatile cloud software can be in the long run. Collaboration in real-time has never been easier as several people can work on a task or file at the same time. This makes it easier for businesses with teams in various locations across the globe.

Google Outage of 2020

Most of Google’s services, including Gmail, YouTube to Google Drive, and multiple other third-party applications that required Google authentication suffered a mass outage that lasted for more than an hour. Users complained about not being able to access Google Meet sessions, and soon enough, the crash sent waves of panic across businesses in many parts of the globe.

The outage was said to be due to “an internal storage quota issue”. The main issue was that the services that required users to log in were experiencing high error rates during that time. Google’s spokesperson explained that the outage happened as the tools that allocated appropriate storage to each service also handling authentication did not work as expected. Hence, once the storage limit was hit, the system shut down on its own, causing it to crash. Users who were already logged in were not affected, but the sheer number of people who were affected at the time is said to have cost the company $11,000 per minute. Gmail and YouTube alone have more than 3.5 billion users across the globe. All devices that used Google Assistant were also down briefly during the crash.

People came up with some temporary solutions during the outage by using a few services in the Incognito Mode, which let them access YouTube in a private window. It was a signed-out version of YouTube that did not require any form of authentication. Some internet-dependentsmart devices that worked through Google Assistant, like Smart lights, Security cameras and Speakers, also went offline, to the extent of forcing people to sit in the dark for some time.

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Optimize Stacks with Cloud Storage

Pick the Right Type of Storage

Major cloud providers usually have several kinds of cloud storage available. The only approach that can be comprehensive is to focus on the right kind of storage based on your business needs. This approach will take time to ascertain, but this comes with dealing with a number of constantly changing variables. Some of these variables include storage format, speed and latency needs, location of the data storage, the size of the data & how long data is stored during a month or a given period.

Optimize Data Storing Costs

Tiering is a possible alternative. Users can set specific regulations on ageing data and archive data that is not used frequently. Businesses can ascertain the cost of moving the data based on the policies.

While picking the suitable payment options, one should consider the additional costs involved in monitoring, automation fees, data transfer from and to the cloud, and minimum charges for sizes and reservations.

Local data backups can be completely removed as most cloud storage services have replicated data in multiple locations.

Compressing data before moving it into the cloud is ingenious in many ways, as compression is a process that drives savings across every section of the system. Storing objects in the cloud is an already inexpensive option wherein compression makes it even more significantly cheaper. It saves costs in storage, costs on data transfer & saves time by making all processes a whole lot faster.

Enhance Storage Performance

Based on the amount of disk space used, managing what files are to be kept on the local file system can help in making space in the cloud by deleting the replicas there. This coupled with overcommitting fast storage disks for recent data, can help reduce the cost of data transfer in the long run and improve operational efficiency monumentally.

Pay Attention to Security

Security when it comes to the cloud is a shared responsibility wherein the customer or organization are responsible first and foremost to keep data secure, determining who has permission to access data, keeping its platform secure & ultimately maintaining a secure network and operating environment. Furthermore, encrypting data sent to the cloud can help prevent unknown users from accessing the data from a public cloud. Lastly, compliance considerations are of utmost importance as organizations need to ensure that they comply with every data security and privacy regulation.

The Future of Cloud

There are many things to keep in mind whilst picking the right cloud solutions based on your unique business needs. Countless challenges can arise, and consistently monitoring backups of critical data and creating automatic backups may go a long way to enable a quick and full recovery. The system architecture is the one to be paid the most attention to as system overloads and bug fixes may arise from non-periodical maintenance and system fixes. With the speed of applications skyrocketing rapidly due to cloud features, it is important to find the best streamlined solution for your business model.

Author: Adhithya S
Based in Bangalore, Adhithya Shankar is a B.A Journalism Honors graduate from Christ (deemed to be University). He is aspiring to complete his higher studies in Mass Communication and Media, alongside pursuing a career in music and entertainment.