Private Cloud Hosting as a Business Continuity Solution During the time of COVID-19
This should go without saying but we are all currently living through unprecedented times. With more and more people working, learning, and living from home, the utilization of cloud based solutions is proving more critical to life than ever before.
The obvious said, we want to use this space to discuss how the cloud, and private cloud solutions, are operating during the pandemic to help business continuity by citing two or three specific examples.
Most Essential Cloud Solutions: Food Delivery and Commerce
The statistics of Covid-19 infection rates play out as follows:
Source: Business Insider
The pattern here is very simple to understand: the older you are, and the worse off health wise you are, the higher chance you have of being infected with a mild to serious case of Covid-19. This means the somewhat nation-wide stay at home orders that exist in the United States as in much of the world are meant to protect those at higher risk and serious impact against spread, infection, and possible death.
Practically, age + social distancing means for those among us who are at higher risk of infection, staying away from high traffic + high touch spaces is critical. A key location are food markets.
A recent study of markets around the country found foot traffic has seen a reduction of near 40%. However at the same time:
“During a March 2020 survey of consumers in the United States, 74 percent of respondents stated that if confined to their homes during the coronavirus, they were likely to purchase grocery store items online. Online delivery orders of groceries have surged in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and pasta delivery orders increased almost 700 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year.” – Source
From a raw computing POV, the increase in online food delivery from supermarkets, regardless of the demographic of use, has markedly jumped. For those order services utilizing more traditional web hosting solutions for their business, the jump in online ordering might have proven a critical failure of infrastructure to meet demand. Stores using more traditional web hosting solutions will, and most likely have, experienced critical downtimes for their customers for the specific reason that their network resources could not scale to meet demand caused by increased traffic.
On the other hand though, businesses who had previously built the backbone of their IT infrastructure within a private or hybrid cloud set up well were positioned to deal with the increase in demand on orders for the specific reason of scalability. The scale allotted for with private cloud or hybrid cloud solutions most likely protected those services from any form of business disruption.
Now if we bring this back to Covid-19 infection rates by age + social distancing policies, private and hybrid cloud solutions for grocery deliveries to more at risk populations help to keep those folks properly stocked, help to keep those businesses running, and helps to slow/lessen infection spread rates.
It is an all around win.
Most Essential Private and Public Cloud Solutions: Healthcare
“As provider organizations face a surge of new cases, or anticipate capacity challenges in the near future, they’re reconsidering the speed with which they can conduct current implementations because of limitations in IT-staff capacity and the heavy demands that high patient loads are placing on clinical staff.” – Source
Let’s think about this on a granular day-to-day level of healthcare operations.
On a typical day before Covid-19, the management of patients within a healthcare network or single hospital, relied on a few things:
- Patient Records
- Transmission of Data
- Patient Intake & Outtake
- Internal scheduling, employee concerns, and billing/back of the office services
This breaks down to a very specific cloud based demand which requires the use of a hybrid cloud model as seen below:
|Public Cloud Healthcare Needs||Private Cloud Healthcare Needs|
|Patient Billing||Patient Records (EHR)|
|Patient Scheduling||Transmission of Patient Data (Intra)|
|Patient Intake & Outtake||Transmission of Patient Data (External)|
|Healthcare Services Marketing||Internal Healthcare Service Employee Needs|
|Healthcare Equipment Ordering||Patient Billing (back-of-office)|
Most importantly within this breakdown are patient records or EHR (electronic health records). EHR’s are responsible for the day-to-day medical information of a patient and the treatment protocol assigned to him/her. These records work independently within healthcare networks and are not directly transferred between two different medical establishments.
This means, each hospital maintains their own EHR system and associated system for how those EHR’s are packed, transmitted, and declassified between medical establishments.
Keeping Covid-19 in mind, with the massive influx of patients to healthcare networks and regional/local hospitals, the ability of the private cloud hosting side of the hybrid model demands instant scale as Covid-19 patient intake rises, falls, and is transferred to another facility.
Not only does all this require almost instant scale, it also requires high level security protocols between intra and external cloud networks to ensure all patient data (EHR, billing, insurance, etc.) are kept HIPAA compliant.
The bottom line: without the scale and security offered by a private cloud solution per and between institutions, the current Covid-19 pandemic would effectively crash and burn the majority of high influx Covid-19 healthcare systems around the country.
Less Essential Cloud Solutions: Streaming
We want to round this out by speaking to something a bit less serious yet just as critical: entertainment in the time of Covid-19. We are all living at home. That means no going out to movies, restaurants, malls, bars, etc. So, the question persists: when the work day is over and you need to take the edge off, what to do.
Well, it turns out that Covid-19 has had a major impact on streaming patterns across the globe.
“With much of the world’s population stuck at home under social distancing, quarantine, and mandatory lockdowns, consumer spending on streaming has increased anywhere from 20% to 50% depending on the channel. Given this unprecedented surge in demand, it’s not hyperbolic to say the internet is going through the most intense stress test in its history.” – Source
The increase in streaming time has been observed across the globe from China, to Italy, to the United States. Before Covid-19, it was an already known fact that after 7 PM, Netflix alone accounted for anywhere from 10% – 15% of all US internet traffic.
With influx of Covid-19 traffic, services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix, and Disney + have all had to contend with increased streaming and a growing increase in platform users. Streaming platforms have also had to degrade image quality (in line throttling) to ensure bandwidth across the network remains.
Effectively this means streaming companies need to turn to private cloud solutions that offer not only scale but the ability to deal with increased requests-per-second within the network to ensure 99.9% uptime remains the baseline for services.
So it should go without mentioning that smaller providers relying on older IT solutions or even a 100% public cloud solution, might have a harder time meeting demand during the pandemic while streaming platforms utilizing private solutions are better set up to meet spiking demand, video quality, and continued uptime due to scale and RPS capabilities.
Covid-19 and the Private Cloud
In this uncertain time, the one thing becoming more and more certain for business continuity across the spectrum of global business is the private cloud. It offers the ability to scale at high demand, it offers the ability to protect highly sensitive data even as networks strain, and it offers users the ability to relax with their families for an evening. From food delivery, to healthcare, to entertainment, the private cloud is proving more essential than it has ever been while the world struggles with Covid-19.
As always, whatever your need, QuoteColo is here to help you build a custom private cloud hosting environment at whatever budget you feel comfortable with. So by all means, use the contact form link here or at the top right of this page to let us help you meet your business hosting needs.