Amazon Cloud Outage: The Silver Lining for MSPs

Amazon Cloud Outage: The Silver Lining for MSPs

When Amazon.com announces earnings results on April 26, the online retailer will surely need to explain its recent cloud computing outage to investors and pundits. In the meantime, recent cloud setbacks at Amazon and Sony provide ample opportunity -- yes, upside -- for managed services providers (MSPs). Here's why.

Sure, some rivals may celebrate the cloud setbacks at Amazon and Sony. But MSPs would be far wiser to study their own cloud strategies and what-if scenarios for end-customers.

  • What if your primary provider of hosted Exchange, online backup, remote monitoring or PSA software went dark?
  • How long could you afford to be dark, and what workarounds could you leverage?
  • How can you help end-customers to maintain business operations during a cloud service outage?
Generally speaking, I think reputable cloud computing companies have strong track records keeping their services online. Still, the Amazon and Sony outages prove that even the richest companies with the deepest pockets can go dark. For MSPs, it's a prime opportunity to discuss how certain clouds are designed, and perhaps explore hybrid cloud approaches that allow on-premise computing to continue when a back-end cloud service goes dark.

Still A True Believer

Despite the Amazon cloud setback in recent days, I don't expect SMB customers to sour on cloud computing. This train has already left the station. Instead of dumping Amazon's stock during the outage, investors are holding tight because they know Amazon Web Services is a long-term play that has momentum. Also, thousands of SMBs continue to flock to Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Rackspace, Terremark and other cloud-related platforms. And at the enterprise level big shifts also are occurring. The U.S. federal government, for instance, is striving to shift 25 percent of its annual IT budget to cloud computing.

The recent Amazon and Sony outages won't reverse that trend. Nor will it slow that trend. Instead, end-customers will merely ask more questions as they evaluate cloud solutions. Will you have the answers they seek?

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