In “Dealing with Cloud Downtime Pt. 1”, we discussed why the Cloud fails, why consumers experience downtime and why Cloud marketers have sold the Cloud as a 99.99% uptime solution. If you haven’t read it, we suggest you do. The end of “Dealing with Cloud Downtime Pt. 1” left off with how consumers should react to downtime and what consumers should look for in a provider concerning service downtime before signing up for services.
My Cloud Hosting Solution is Down. What do I do Now?
So, your Cloud hosting provider is down. What is your next step? Your next step will depend wholly on what type of provider you have chosen for your Cloud hosting provider. If your provider is fully unmanaged, calling into IT support won’t be available and contacting company tech’s via email will not be an option. For you, the web hosting consumer who has chosen a $5 to $10 Cloud hosting service lacking onsite support, your best recourse is to reach out to your provider via social media (Twitter or Facebook) or complain to other out of luck consumers on WebHostingTalk.com. Aside from this, if you are using an unmanaged Cloud platform, you will have to wait until the service comes back online.
However, if you are part of the group who paid for a Cloud provider which offers IT support, you have a few options.
Contact IT Support. Tweet.
Your first move should be to contact your Cloud providers’ IT support. Most providers have email support, some have phone support. Whatever your provider has, contact them via those channels. It also should be noted, to alert your provider to downtime, use social media. Most providers who supply 24/7/365 IT support know enough to have a marketing team member monitoring and updating various social media feeds.
While Facebook might be a great for liking your provider of choice, when it comes to finding out information concerning downtime, contact your provider via Twitter. This should be done because:
a) During downtime, your hosting companies’ support telephone line will be jammed impeding your ability to receive valuable information
b) During downtime, your hosting companies’ internal ticket system will be more flooded than their phone lines
c) During downtime, your hosting company will be doing everything it can to fix the issue at hand. This means employees will be split between finding and fixing the cause problem and fielding customers concerns. This means all IT staff will be slammed. Reaching out to your provider via Twitter will allow you to reach a marketing team member who is buys crafting a public message on the root cause of downtime. This means, he or she, will have a good idea of what is going on.
Cloud hosting downtime is inevitable. While downtime can’t be avoided, you can ensure your provider will credit you back when downtime occurs. This is how.
It’s All About the SLA
Learn that term. SLA. SLA, or Service Level Agreement, is the contract which you enter into when your provider goes down. The SLA stipulates the levels of service the provider will supply to consumers. Some of those levels include items like service uptime.
If your provider falls under their stated SLA for uptime, some Cloud hosting companies will provide impacted customers with SLA credits. These credits are meant to provide the consumer with an equal monetary value to the amount lost during service downtime. Essentially, your provider will supply you with reimbursement for every minute they fall below their stated SLA uptime.
A word to the wise: before investing in Cloud hosting services, check the company SLA. If they do not provide any credits or reimbursement for downtime, do not use them as a provider.
Concerning the provider, how a Cloud host deals with downtime tells consumers a lot about their character. In the final part of this series, “Dealing with Cloud Downtime Pt. 3”, we are going to discuss how providers should handle service downtime.