Sam Fetchero - April 28, 2019

Cloud disaster recovery: What if Thanos's snap killed half your public cloud?

Sam Fetchero
Director of Product Marketing

The latest Avengers installment is taking the world by storm with a record-shattering $1.2B box office haul in its first weekend, and it got me thinking: what if Thanos snapping his fingers resulted in a slightly different outcome? What if the snap terminated half of your cloud resources? There are thousands of fan sites asking if animals may have been affected by Thanos, so why not cloud deployments as well? (You can even see if you would have survived.) 

In short: what is your cloud disaster recovery plan? 

The scenario is not unprecedented. Problems, mistakes, and disasters are why companies like Pager Duty can IPO with a valuation of $2B+.

By my estimation, there are three camps of folks if Thanos threatened the cloud.

Camp #1: Those who would be in trouble (or fired)

If half of cloud resources terminated and your disaster recovery plan hasn’t been updated in a while (or doesn’t exist for that matter), you should probably work on your resume. Likewise, the teams that lifted and shifted their bloated, monolithic apps and neglected to take advantage of lighter-weight, scalable, and flexible cloud-native architectures would feel the pain.

Surprisingly, 30% of companies experienced data loss in 2018. And 30% in 2017. And the year before. That’s near-Thanos levels of data loss. It doesn’t take a Thanos attack to expose this gaping hole in data protection and business continuity.

The fact is, if you’re not using the cloud to its full potential, you would feel the most pain. Not leveraging options like the seamless disaster recovery services, serverless, and containers would put you at risk.

Also having a bad day would be the folks at the major cloud providers AWS, Azure, and Google. Their pristine records of trying to keep up five “9s” of uptime would be thoroughly thrashed. Many Amazonians would receive question-mark emails from Jeff Bezos and may end up crying at their desks.

Camp #2: Those who would be elated

This sounds as heartless as trading Gamora for the Soul Stone, but there are quite a few folks who would love to see the cloud get cut in half:

  • Developers and IT Pros that haven’t brushed up on their skills and are maintaining legacy/ancient tech on-prem
  • IT Finance teams that have been combatting cloud sprawl and bill shock. They would love to see their bill get cut in half
  • Rackspace and others who are having their lunch eaten by AWS and Azure
  • Preppers

Camp #3: Those who wouldn’t be phased (a.k.a. cloud disaster recovery practitioners)

Just thinking through this scenario, what happens to Lambda functions? By default, since it is “serverless,” by my analysis, it would be spared from Thanos’s attack. Similarly, for applications leveraging containers, if half the containers got “dumped into the sea,” it would be no big deal. They could be replicated – nothing would be lost.

The fact is, for those using the cloud effectively and to its full potential, it wouldn’t be such a bad day, after all, staying as calm as Bruce Banner doing yoga. Sure, there may be some downtime, and it make take some time to restore your customer database from the backup, for example, but you’d be back to normal in no-time and ahead of the game versus your competitors.

This group is smaller than you think. For example, only 12% of enterprises have deployed a production workload using container technology, with the majority of these use cases focused on new, cloud-native applications. Staff skillsets, time, effort, and cost will keep organizations from moving faster in this area.

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So, what if you could snap your fingers and reduce your cloud footprint and spend?

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