Cloud platform vendors limit their responsibility

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Take a quick read of Google’s Terms of Service or Amazon EC2’s SLA Exclusions and you’ll see examples of how cloud platform vendors limit their governance and control responsibility.

So what happens when you put your business in the cloud and then the cloud goes down?  Just ask Foursquare, Hootsuite, Reddit, Quora and others who endured the recent EC2 outage that hobbled their websites, resulting in lost revenue and strained customer support teams.

Chances are some of your critical business processes have already moved to the cloud.  But you still need to know the instant one of them fails.

So how should you treat vendor platforms such as Salesforce.com, Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud Files and Microsoft Azure?

As the saying goes, “don’t rely on a fox to guard the chicken coop”.   Don’t rely solely on your service providers to alert you of inaccuracies or outages that they themselves have caused…. Service provider dashboards will be of no use when they themselves are responsible for failure.  A governed pipe will instantly give you that information.

Our suggestion is to treat cloud platform vendors the same way you would treat any other vendor.  Manage all file and data interactions, with visibility, management and enforcement… And carefully craft SLAs that represent end-to-end services and link them to easily trackable key performance indicators.  Cloud does not solve all your data issues on its own, but you can and should leverage your Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution to extend and govern the cloud.

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