How To Stay Up When Your Cloud Goes Down
We live in the digital age — a time when technology is highly available and mass amounts of data are produced daily. The increased reliance on technology has companies turning to cloud storage to hold all their data. While cloud storage is a fantastic resource, it comes with some risks.
Cloud storage helps companies keep track of crucial data, but in the event of a cloud outage, those companies can suffer from data loss or be forced to halt operations. A cloud outage is a span of time during which a particular cloud service is unavailable to its users. These outages occur on the provider’s end and cause users to lose access to all data stored in that cloud until the provider resolves the issue. The leading causes of cloud outages include power outages, cybersecurity incidents, software bugs, and essential maintenance.
What happens during a cloud outage?
If companies don’t have sufficient backups or disaster recovery, their work could grind to a stop, resulting in major hits to the bottom line. The impacted organizations can also suffer permanent data loss, and, depending on the nature of their business, they may even incur legal fines if an outage causes a data breach or leakage.
As ominous as the threat of a cloud outage can be, businesses don’t need to stop using cloud storage. When it comes to the cloud, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks — by a lot! To maximize security, users can take precautionary measures to ensure their data stays safe and accessible, even if their cloud goes down. Data replication should be one of the first measures they should implement.
The value of data replication
Data replication occurs when the same data is intentionally stored in multiple sites or servers. This process allows users to access data consistently without factoring in downtime. Enhanced availability and accessibility lend themselves to improved data sharing and recovery.
Data replication has three components: a publisher, a distributor, and a subscriber. The publisher creates objects for replication articles. These articles are grouped and published as single or multiple publications that replicate data as a unit. The distributor is where the replicated databases are held. From there, these databases are eventually sent to the subscriber.
So, why is data replication beneficial? That’s easy. It is highly available, affordable, scalable, and secure. It keeps data offsite and away from the premises, meaning that if the primary instance is compromised, the secondary instance will be safe and easily used for recovery. It minimizes the costs associated with managing the data center. It houses support for on-demand scalability, which allows users to increase or decrease their storage requirements and keeps them from purchasing additional hardware. And it increases security via cloud service providers that provide fully-managed service and are responsible for maintaining physical and network security. Maybe “beneficial” was an understatement.
Types of data replication
There are several types of data replication that companies can use. The ones they choose depend on their individual needs. Each has benefits and drawbacks, so companies should carefully evaluate their data replication needs to determine which type suits them best.
This type of data replication occurs when frequently occurring data changes are automated and distributed between servers. It happens in real time, replicating every step of a transaction alongside the order of changes. Transactional replication allows each change to be replicated rather than making a full copy of all data changes. This process improves performance and decreases latency.
Snapshot replication synchronizes data between the publisher and subscriber at any given moment. Chunks of data are moved in a single transaction. Unlike transactional replication, snapshot replication doesn’t update every transaction. Instead, it synchronizes data that changes over a period of time.
With merge replication, data is gathered from multiple sources and merged into a central database. The initial synchronization is a snapshot, but changes are allowed at both the publisher and subscriber levels. Any updated data is sent to the merge agent installed on all servers. Conflict resolution algorithms are then used to update and distribute data.
Panzura CloudFS cloud mirroring
By using Panzura’s CloudFS to replicate their data via cloud mirroring, companies can ensure data availability anytime, anywhere. CloudFS also gives them cloud-native access to unstructured data. Our global file system’s cloud mirroring capabilities provide data redundancy and high availability by putting the same data set in two separate object stores. When a company’s primary cloud goes down, CloudFS switches to the secondary cloud store without any interruption or data loss.
During normal operation, cloud mirroring allows writing to occur in both object stores simultaneously in real time. Data is only read from the primary object store, but both cloud stores can operate and hold identical data simultaneously. A real-time write split captures new and changed data in both object stores as files are created and edits are made.
So, how does Panzura cloud mirroring work? CloudFS uses a cloud connector to communicate with any compatible object store using the cloud’s RESTful API. The cloud can be public, private, or “dark.” Every location in the CloudFS file network reads from the primary cloud in real time and caches the most used files locally for high performance. Locations in the CloudFS network simultaneously write new and changed data to the primary and secondary clouds as immutable data every 60 seconds. This process ensures that in addition to being stored in the primary cloud, there is a complete, redundant copy of all data in the secondary cloud.
How cloud mirroring aids companies during cloud failure
If a business experiences cloud failure, all read and write operations to that cloud will be disabled. A sustained primary cloud outage will result in CloudFS failing over to the secondary cloud for read and write operations until the primary cloud is restored. Every location in a CloudFS network writes to both clouds simultaneously, so data held in the secondary cloud is consistent with data in the primary cloud, allowing operations to remain constant without any data loss. When a location goes down, the global HA node takes over lock management and caches data locally.
When the primary object store is available again, Panzura automatically synchronizes both clouds to a consistent data set. Companies can then resume all read and write operations from the primary cloud. To take advantage of these cloud outage relief features, all companies have to do is purchase a secondary object store. With Panzura, companies no longer need to depend on a single cloud or object store provider. They are inherently protected against disruptions and data loss that results from accidental cloud bucket deletion and cyber threats.
Not only does cloud mirroring enable immediate failover if the primary cloud experiences an outage, but it also provides companies with additional data durability and ransomware resilience if the primary storage provider falls victim to ransomware attacks.
Because of cloud mirroring, secondary cloud stores can serve another purpose. The mirrored store will provide companies with real-time backup and up-to-the-moment data redundancy if and when they need to switch storage providers, either temporarily or permanently. Additionally, the secondary cloud store provides accelerated recovery capabilities in the case of a complete disaster by storing a redundant data set capable of granular restoration without data loss.
With CloudFS, companies don’t have to worry about shutting down when cloud outages strike. Cloud mirroring provides a low-cost option for companies looking to ensure access to their data no matter what happens to their cloud providers. Companies can’t control when cloud outages happen, but they can take steps to guarantee access to their data. And they can count on Panzura to help them every step of the way.