If you haven’t heard already, Amazon Web Service AKA Amazon Cloud, has been down since around 1AM on April 11th, 2011. I wrote an article about my reservations of having the heart of my business outsourced somewhere in the post here.
Imagine if your company decided to have your solution hosted with Amazon Cloud. You’d be hurting a lot right now as a lot of orders will have to be written by hand. But assuming you’re not using Quickbooks anymore, your company must’ve grown to a significant size, and in a world that’s more connected than ever, your ERP solution is probably integrated and receiving orders electronically (EDI, E-commerce sites, etc).
I realize this cloud computing is still at its infancy and as we can see, even if a hosting company as big as Amazon can fail without warning. The lessons learned here if you decide to host your ERP or Navision or GP or AX, etc. You have to:
- Make sure how you’re going to process the order by hand
- Make sure you have a plan to get all those electronic orders by hand
- Make sure you have a plan to manually ship those orders
These plans will need to be in place for the long term as you never know when the hosting company can get their server back up and running again. It may take hours, days, or even weeks. Even so, you’re risking data loss after it comes back online. Basically, even if the hosting company guarantees, you’d better not expect it’ll be guaranteed.
On the flip side, if your hardware is hosted in house, the manually processes are not as important. You can get a computer and restore a backup last night of your database faster than the hosting company can get their server back online.