By Rami Habal  |  Posted 2010-09-28 Print this article Print

2. Resiliency

Now that your data is stored in the cloud, how dependable is the vendor service? It is crucial to ask how much downtime their services have experienced. What are the protocols for customer data protection when there is downtime?

Service outages are not completely avoidable, unfortunately. Otherwise, there would not be a debate on software as a service (SAAS) versus on-premises services. However, there must be a level of reliability to ensure that the data is protected even during the downtime.

The best way to assess resiliency is through the vendor's service-level agreements (SLAs). A key metric to look for is uptime or availability. Anything shy of "five nines" (that is, 99.999 percent) availability might not be the right solution. In many cases, the SLA provided by the cloud vendor could exceed that provided internally.

Note that, when scrutinizing SLAs, looking at the metric is not sufficient. Ask your vendor what happens if an SLA is not met and what type of remuneration is received. In other words, read the fine print.

Rami Habal is Director of Product Marketing at Proofpoint. Rami is responsible for several company solutions. Prior to Proofpoint, Rami held various operating roles at high-tech companies, worked as a venture capitalist at a top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and has started several businesses. Rami continues to advise early-stage startups. He holds advanced degrees from MIT and Harvard. He can be reached at

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