In the world of instant gratification, we expect every service to be always available. The success of on-demand streaming is a clear example of the trend, but the expectation of availability extends to other businesses as well. This highlights the importance of high availability, and by extent, infrastructure resilience.
Luckily, when done right, cloud infrastructure can provide inherent system-level resilience unavailable in many other service models. However, not all cloud infrastructures are built equal. How seriously your provider takes their cloud infrastructure resilience might make or break your reselling business.
In this post, we’ll explore the consequences of downtime, how it can be mitigated by designing infrastructure for resilience and how responsive customer support can help in handling any possible outages.
Consequences of downtime
To begin with, it’s important to recognise that no system is perfect, and downtime will happen. Moreover, even short interruptions to the affected services can have immediate and long-lasting repercussions.
Immediate or short-term
When a system becomes unavailable, your customers are going to notice. Depending on your services, some might just shrug and move on, while others are more likely to contact you for resolution. Furthermore, the longer the interruption, the more of your customers will turn to your support line for answers. While the purpose of your customer support is to be there when your customers need help, reducing downtime with resilient infrastructure will, in turn, reduce the need for customer contact.
In addition to a loss of service, downtime of any duration can create the possibility of data loss, for example, in actively writing databases. Naturally, solutions such as replication and load balancing exist to mitigate system failure to databases at their service level. However, minimising the interruption with resilient infrastructure should already reduce the reliance on these features.
Accumulative or long-term
One of the worst consequences of poor resilience on any service is lost revenue. Be it due to missed sales during Black Friday or churned customers searching for better availability, service outages are likely to cause monetary damages in the long run. It is then pretty easy to see the benefit of cloud infrastructure resilience to your bottom line. Higher availability equates to a higher return on investment.
Furthermore, regardless of the reasons for any downtime of your services, there is also a danger of damage to your brand’s reputation. We, humans, tend to remember bad experiences longer due to negativity bias. Poor experiences lead to poor reviews which in turn can cause potential customers to go elsewhere. Truly resilient cloud infrastructure is your first line of defence against downtime and so alleviates the common causes for negative customer experiences.
Consequently, higher resilience can reduce the burden on your support technicians. Who then have more time to focus on individual customers and improve their customer experience.
Designed for resilience
Many workloads can be developed for increased resilience by using load balancing, CDN or automated scaling. However, depending on the implementation, not all resellers are able to take advantage of these tools. Therefore, the strength of the underlying infrastructure really matters.
Although cloud providers strive to offer a very strong and reliable service, failure can and will happen. Downtime needs to be prepared for. This is where truly great cloud providers are separated from the rest of the industry in their infrastructure design.
The first line of defence against downtime is prevention. For example, on UpCloud, all operation critical systems are built with at least N+1 redundancy. Meaning, for every component in our cloud infrastructure running your cloud services, exists a backup system ready to take over in the event of a failure.
Redundancy on UpCloud covers our entire service stack from power delivery and networking to the Cloud Servers and storage devices. In addition to aiming to prevent downtime, issues with compute nodes are mitigated with automated failover.
Should the host machine your Cloud Server is running on encounter failure, your server instance will be automatically transferred to another host with mere seconds of interruption. This is possible thanks to UpCloud’s unique physical separation of storage and computational hardware. The separation of hardware provides yet another layer of our cloud infrastructure resilience.
Responsive and transparent support
Although UpCloud is built around offering state of the art cloud infrastructure resilience, downtime is still possible. In the event of issues, you as a reseller need to have someone to turn to. That’s where our world-class customer support comes in. UpCloud’s fast and responsive customer support is capable of handling any problem with the personal touch your reselling business requires.
A quick resolution to infrastructure issues is always the preferred option. However, when the problem doesn’t have an immediate solution, communication is the key to keeping you up to date on the investigation. As a reseller, you could be left at the mercy of long support wait times, which can often be up to 48 hours.
Therefore, responsive and informative customer support can make all the difference. Transparent communication enables you to inform your end-users and not leaving them waiting to wonder when the issue is going to be resolved. Working as a reseller with a cloud provider that is able to empower you to assist your customers builds mutual trust and can greatly improve your customers’ experiences in the event of downtime.
Cloud infrastructure resilience should be one of the most important deciding factors when resellers are evaluating potential cloud providers. However, reliability is difficult to measure without first-hand experience. Fortunately, any cloud provider worth considering should provide a publicly available track record of outages and issues on their status page. The status history should show the frequency of issues and how promptly they are resolved. Reviewing the cloud provider’s status page can provide an idea of their infrastructure resilience.
In addition to choosing the best cloud provider for your needs, it’s also important to make use of the right tools. For example, services such as UpCloud’s Managed Databases with a built-in resilience can further help you to reduce the chance of downtime.
Nonetheless, even the highest level of infrastructure resilience cannot protect your services against operating system level software issues. Therefore, it’s important to take frequent backups. Simple Backup is a great solution with options of backup frequency and retentions, all under a straightforward pricing model.
Lastly, UpCloud’s 100% uptime SLA shows the level of trust we place in our infrastructure. With monetary compensation for any outages over 5 minutes, we can mitigate the financial risks of infrastructure failure to resellers. Let UpCloud take away your stress of unreliable cloud infrastructure.