Widespread Downtime Found in 99 Percent of Cloud Environments
December 12, 2017
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Downtime and security risks were present in each cloud environment tested, according to 2016 Private Cloud Resiliency Benchmarks, a report from Continuity Software.

The study also found that security and performance risks were found in 99 percent and 97 percent of the environments respectively, with 82 percent of the companies facing data loss risks.

Some of the top risks identified across the private cloud environments include:

■ Configuration drifts between cluster nodes that prevent failover. Examples for such discrepancies range from the most trivial – e.g., a file that is not accessible by all hosts in the cluster – to more complex ones – such as incorrect settings of affinity rules.

■ Virtual networking configuration errors leading to virtual machine isolation and downtime. Examples include incorrect Virtual Machine Port Group configurations and resources misalignment between ESXi cluster hosts leading to a single point of failure.

■ Incorrect storage settings leading to corrupt backups and data store loss. Such risks range from invalid CBT configuration to inconsistent LUN numbering and incorrect UUID settings.

What do these private cloud environments look like?

■ 48 percent of the organizations included in the study run their virtual machines on Windows compared to 7 percent of the organizations that run on Linux. 46 percent of the organizations use a mix of operating systems.

■ Close to three quarters (73 percent) of the organizations use EMC data storage systems. Other storage systems used include NetApp (38 percent), IBM (26 percent), HP (24 percent) and Hitachi (18 percent).

■ 27 percent of the organizations use replication for automated offsite data protection.

■ 12 percent of the organizations utilize active-active failover for continuous availability.

■ Almost all of the organizations (96 percent) use more than one physical path to transfer data between the host and the external storage device.

With a growing level of the complexity, increasing interdependence among infrastructure components, and an escalating pace of change, keeping cloud infrastructure free of risky misconfiguration is becoming a challenge that most organizations fail to meet.

"Sooner or later, every system fails," said Gil Hecht, CEO of Continuity Software. "And when a popular service goes down, it doesn't take long for customers to notice."

Each year enterprises continue to encounter downtime, which currently costs an estimated $740,000 per outage according to Ponemon's most recent report.

"The good news is that most risks lurking in the cloud infrastructure can be identified and corrected before they turn into a service disruption," explained Hecht. "This requires a specialized set of processes and tools, but above all a mindset and strategy focused on early detection and the remediation of risks."

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