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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The cloud services' ability to support mission critical-based apps were quite arguable a few years ago because most businesses back then relied on working in a on-premise environment where software and apps are hosted on physical servers and personal computers, but now, that seems to be changing. Whether the detractors or cloud evangelists can validate it by experience, research and studies, the cloud’s ability to support these apps were proven through testing and deployments in businesses.

As most organisations migrate from on premise environment to the Cloud, whether in private, public or a hybrid cloud solution, others still find it questionable as to how far they can go on relying on cloud services when it comes to mission critical apps.

However, according to a recent research released by SailPoint, one of three mission critical apps is in the cloud, and it’s expected to reach a 2:3 ratio by 2015.

What are mission critical apps?

A mission critical app (whilst it sounds like a technical jargon) is an app wherein if it fails to run or experience a downtime, it affects the entire daily operations of the organisation, damaging its long-term sustainability. The daily operations are interrupted. It prevents the staff to do the things they need to do for the day, such as processing financial transactions from money transfer to selling stocks and buying mutual funds in finance industry.

Depending on the nature and industry of the business, the reliability and quick availability of the apps are necessary for day-to-day operations. A slight downtime of EPOS system software in a fashion retail shop directly affects daily turnover. Every second counts for mission critical apps.

Understanding the mission and business critical apps

Conversely, there’s another app called: “business critical app” if it experiences downtime at any time of the day, it does not entirely affect the operations, allowing the staff to continue working. It may be painstakingly slow, but they can still work without it.

CIOs and IT departments are considering these circumstances before migrating to the cloud especially if they have been working in an on premise environment for quite some time. However, there are start-ups that openly adopt the Cloud in full powerhouse, whilst, for others, a hybrid solution. Integrating the mission critical apps is one of the factors that they consider as viable or not in the long term.

Requirements and key characteristics of mission critical workloads

IDC’s recent report shows how customers identify mission critical workloads that are related to the following incidents:

    - The business cannot function well without it.

    - Multiple workloads supporting end-to-end applications, from computing tiers such as web, apps and database tiers.

    - One-hour downtime can affect the entire business; a disruption will cause damage, from the loss of revenue, customers and productivity to customer loyalty.

    Organisations aim to build an IT infrastructure from reliable component parts and resources such as a large redundancy. If, by chance, one part fails, there’s enough capacity for the system to run while the IT department solves the issue.

    Cloud service providers have far more redundancy compared to legacy platforms, but rarely, you’ll find a provider that will have a 100% uptime and reliability. To guarantee consistency and 99.99% uptime for these mission critical apps, other analysts suggest redundancy of suppliers instead of redundancy in servers and VMs.

    Some businesses scale cloud servers from two to three suppliers because cloud has its lower upfront costs, compared to setting up with physical servers that requires significant amount of investment.

    Overall, the cloud is reliable to support these mission critical apps because of its large redundancy, formidable encryption for secured networks with 256-bit AES and ability to process data and software itself with scalable solutions. And since mission critical apps requires 24/7 uptime, cloud providers have SLAs (service level agreements) to make sure they deliver 100% service to businesses.

    Author Bio:

    Jack is a tech addict who’s looking at ways to streamline business performance using cloud technology and other new services.

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