Critical data should be replicated across multiple availability zones (Amazon's term for a regional data centers) and backed up or live replicated across regions; active servers should be distributed geographically, and there should be enough active capacity to shift locations should one data center implode, advises Thorsten Von Eicken, CTO and co-founder of cloud management vendor RightScale. "Of course all this has costs, so each business needs to determine which costs are justified for each service being offered," he adds.
Bizo, for example, runs its services in two availability zones in each of the four Amazon regions it utilizes. When the eastern region went south last week, the company redirected that traffic to the western region.
7. Put your provider on the hook. Make sure your cloud vendors have some skin the game with a contract that ties outages to service levels. "If they [CIOs] are subcontracting to a third-party cloud provider, ensure they are responsible for these outages and can't [absolve] themselves of responsibility," Fersht says.
Read more about outsourcing in CIO's Outsourcing Drilldown.