In order to get the best out of cloud computing services, companies must make sure they are designing the deployment with dependability in mind. David Bills, a reliability strategist, wrote on Data Center Knowledge that from the customer's perspective, the cloud should just work, but there are issues that can get in the way of that, such as outages that businesses must think about when they are designing their cloud strategies. The difference for much of what could happen is that some companies prepare for negatives to pop up from time to time while others do not.

In order to best be able to serve customers, he said organizations need to follow some guiding principles in the cloud, implementing provisions for data integrity, fault tolerance and rapid recovery.

"These are three attributes that customers expect, at a minimum, from their service,"he said. "Data integrity means preserving the fidelity of the information that customers have entrusted to a service. Fault tolerance is the ability of a service to detect failures and automatically take corrective measures so the service is not interrupted. Rapid recovery is the ability to restore service quickly and completely when a previously unanticipated failure occurs."

Each team involved in cloud implementation should know its role in the process. He said, for example, the engineering team should design and build cloud based services, test the solutions and package them to ensure the technology is optimized for the business. The services team does all of this and makes sure that if there is an issue, it can be resolved as quickly as possible.

Steps to reliability
Jim Tessier wrote on Wired that no matter how small or large a company is, making sure the cloud is running and managed correctly is extremely important to the success of the technology. However, he said tools are continuing to evolve and meet these challenges, with innovations like integrated power management software, automated replication and triggered live migration to make leveraging cloud computing services easier for organizations.

"Capitalizing on the live migration functionality built into many server virtualization solutions is another effective software-based reliability strategy," he said. "Live migration systems offered by leading software vendors enable administrators to move virtual servers almost instantaneously from one physical host to another in response to technical issues or maintenance requirements, but these systems have no built-in capabilities for responding to service outages."