Don’t save money on your servers

The question is not if the disaster will happen, but when

I’m writing this article after a sad day for the internet. OVH provider was down for a fire that destroyed one of the building of the datacenter in Strasburg. I do not mean that the fire just burnt a few resources but the entire building. In the next image, you will understand what happened.

form Strasburg firefighters

Now the times for data recovery are uncertain, but we are talking about weeks and, even there isn’t yet any official communication, there may be data in the destroyed building that won’t be recovered.

In this article, I explain what we can learn from this accident and how to be prepared in case it will happen to us.

Disasters will happen

This article is not a complaint on the OVH service, that's a more wide consideration. Disaster may happen. I suppose the had all the best solution to avoiding a situation like this, but it happened. Flood, earthquake, fire… all these remote situations have to be kept in the account even if you are a client that entrust your servers to a hosting provider.

The matter is not if our server will break, but when and why.

It is not important if we have chosen the best provider in the market, but something can break anyway. What you have to do is to consider the possibility that your entire infrastructure will be destroyed since the beginning of the project. In simple words, what I suggest to do is to have a Disaster Recovery Plan that can be put in practice in the worst case.

Spending less is not saving

The OVH experience remembers us of that. Each time I hear from managers “How we can save costs from infrastructure” I really ask to myself if they are aware of what are telling.

Saving and spending less are two different concepts. Saving is not buying a poor car instead of a Ferrari. You probably will spend less but you will take less. Coming back to the IT world, saving by cutting costs for Disaster Recovery or Backups it is not the way for saving money. Is the way to be unprepared in case you will have problems. Stay on a single server, not rebounded architecture, is the best way for getting the e-commerce down during the heavy traffic on Blackfriday.

Being online is now our business

We are always talking about the omnichannel experience, the importance of the digital presence, and how online sells can promote the companies’ business. The pandemic remark how this driver is important for keeping alive the sells in the lockdown. We won't build the company’s factory over a swamp, even it will be cheaper because we know that this is not safe and may compromise our business. In the same way, we cannot entrust a cheaper hosting solution or miss some pieces like a backup. We cannot compromise our business for saving a few money.

What to do next

So, wrapping up all the things, if you want to sleep in two pillows don’t limit to think that all will be fine, but start to define a disaster recovery plan. Widely thinking, having a public cloud provider helps to ensure the right performance and quality. This can make it very easy to create a redounded infrastructure that will be tolerant of issues in the physical datacenter. Last but not the least, use standard solutions. This makes it easy to move from a provider to another in case of issues and let you implement a multi-cloud strategy for avoiding vendor lock-in.

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