You know disruption is afoot in an industry when a “value added” service becomes “the norm” – that point where a premium service feature or an “optional extra” becomes available to the masses – customer expectations of the standard product evolve. Remember when air-conditioning in the humble automobile was an “optional extra”, not that long ago! These days air conditioning is standard in what a car provides, part of the standard product. It’s at this point when an industry is ripe for innovation, the next wave of product differentiation.
With the rapid rise and adoption of cloud computing, what was once an “optional extra” for IT is quickly becoming part of the standard customer expectation – Self Service, Usage-based billing for example. But what is next from the cloud is even more exciting because it challenges one of the most fiercely competed areas of differentiation, the service level (the SLA).
Multiple Availability Zones in the cloud will challenge the status quo of IT when it comes to Service Levels and SLA’s. Is running your application in the cloud across Multiple Availability Zones an “optional extra”, or now part of the standard customer expectation?
- Quick definition: An Availability Zone is a physically separated set of infrastructure designed to be isolated from failures in other Availability Zones. Virtual Servers run in an Availability Zone.
The Holy Grail of IT is probably pretty close to being able to seamlessly run an application across multiple separate infrastructures at the same time – in unison. But the cost and effort involved in attaining this has historically proved prohibitive for the majority, making it a “nice to have” – an “optional extra” – the cost-risk-analysis usually parking large scale adoption. So we focus on Service Levels (SLAs) and rebates and terms and conditions to mitigate risk.
But disruption is afoot – technology and cloud have started to shift the customer expectation away from a sole focus on the Service Level, and onto true web scale application design and hosting via Multiple Availability Zones. The Cloud has made developing and running an application across Multiple Availability Zones easy and affordable for the masses. The tools are now in the customer’s hands, with developer API access to automate. You only have to Google “cloud” to see some of the high profile cloud casualties last month copping bad press for downtime caused by not running their application across multiple availability zones. Expectations are changing; “the norm” is changing!
Today Ninefold is publically kicking off its multiple Availability Zone strategy, announcing the release of Availability Zone 2 and the launch of Availability Zone 3 a little later in the year. Ninefold Customer’s can now provision cloud services in one, or many of the Ninefold Availability Zones via the simple self service portal or the Ninefold API. Even better, Ninefold customers are able to snapshot and move their cloud services between Availability Zones via inter-zone private networking. Check out the details here: ninefold.com/cloud-architecture/cloud-availability-zones/
Implementing your application in the cloud across Multiple Availability Zones is no longer an optional extra – it’s fast becoming the norm, it’s easier to do, it’s affordable and it’s in Australia with Ninefold!
Written for Ninefold on 11/07/2012 http://ninefold.com/blog/cloud-architecture/multiple-cloud-availability-zones-become-the-norm/