I thought I would share a real world example of why hybrid Cloud is the right strategy for almost any business. For years, backup and disaster recovery has been the buzz, but what if something accidental happens, that could knock one of your most important people offline for a day or more? How would you deal with the interruption? Would you be OK with one of your company’s key people being idle without warning? Consider the following, which has happened to me over the last 24 hours.
Yesterday, Webroot, one of the leading anti-virus/anti-malware software companies inadvertently released an update that caused havoc with some of their customers. To make a long and complicated story short, the updated flagged legitimate Windows operating system files as malware and quarantined or potentially deleted them. Needless to say, this caused a lot of disruption for millions of users yesterday. Webroot identified the issue within 15 minutes and immediately pulled the problem update. While their response was rapid and appropriate, some users picked up the update, with catastrophic consequences in some instances.
Here is what I experienced yesterday. I was working along and suddenly, I could no longer open a spreadsheet I was working on. Within minutes, my PC, a Microsoft SurfaceBook running the latest pre-release Windows 10 update, started to crash. Every reboot resulted in a blank screen and an eventual “Green Screen of Death” (the latest successor to the infamous “Blue Screen of Death”). This has been the most reliable PC I have ever owned, so I knew this was not a normal issue.
Enter our hybrid Cloud infrastructure to the rescue. I was able to jump on an available computer and work in multiple web browser windows like nothing happened. I was in Outlook Online, part of Office 365. I was able to open and work with Word files, my Excel spreadsheet and others, all from the browser. I rely heavily on OneNote to organize my day. Enter OneNote Online in the browser and was working away with my most updated notes as they sync to OneDrive almost as soon as I have updated whatever notebook I am working in.
Our Line of Business applications, those pieces of software that are specific to the work we do, all run from our data center, which is also geographically redundant and backed up. In short, with about 8 browser tabs in use at any point in time, I was back to work in no time, while recovering my damaged SurfaceBook without losing any productivity.
I had access to everything I needed, because my entire world, personal and professional, is made up of Cloud hosted applications along with applications hosted in our corporate data centers. I lost nothing and was easily able to reload the operating system, application software and data while I busily continued on with my day.
One personal hint I will share, is that I maintain a list of all my current software applications and registration information, which makes it easy to reload everything, by stepping through my list. Amazon Drive is my go-to Cloud storage for my personal data and I use GoodSync to keep it synchronized in real time. My corporate data is all in my Office 365 email and our corporate databases and file shares. I lost absolutely nothing, no data, no settings and customizations. Everything worked exactly as designed.
I hope this little unexpected real-world business continuity exercise will help you understand the value of a hybrid Cloud infrastructure for your personal and corporate applications and data. It’s always nice to have a well designed strategy. It’s incredibly rewarding when it works as designed and allows you to deal with an unexpected event that could have had a catastrophic impact.