back to article Cloud provider goes TITSUP? Will someone think of the data!

You’ve entrusted your data to a cloud. This has allowed you to sell off (or scrap) your legacy hardware. You’ve got some new, up-to-date software applications. Maybe you have also outsourced all or part of your IT team. You no longer have to manage and maintain the bulk of your hardware, software and data. You are now enjoying …

  1. Ben Rose
    Megaphone

    There's no such thing as "the cloud"...

    ...it's just somebody else's computer.

  2. terry 1
    Stop

    bust or no broadband

    same result - no work

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All well and good but

    you're assuming that the insolvency goes well.

    This is all assuming it's BAU while the liquidation takes place. But staff will walk if the jobs are not safe, as you said power and comm's maybe killed, building owners may refuse access, security companies may not unlock the doors and so on and so on.

    And no mention if a buyer is not found at all.

    1. TheCloudLawyer

      Re: All well and good but

      Yes, good point. From the customer's perspective, if they can plan ahead and migrate out as soon as the provider gets into financial difficulties, then they shouldn't be affected by the staffing and continuity issues of the (insolvent) provider.

  4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    And remember

    If you're also using your service provider's backup solution, unless you've got your backups stored to physical media outside of your service provider, even if they have separate tape copies, the physical media probably belongs to your service provider or upstream provider, and will be a tangible asset (and thus liable to lien).

    This will be true unless you've got an ironclad contract that states the media reverts to your ownership in the case of your service provider entering insolvency, If you don't, you'll probably also lose access to your physical backups as well, and possibly any archival copies kept for regulatory compliance.

    1. TheCloudLawyer

      Re: And remember

      True, but even with an iron-clad statement of ownership of physical media and the ability to identify your particular back-up tape, you still need the insolvency practitioner to agree to hand it over and time is ticking...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those measures are rather woefully incomplete..

    If a vendor goes bust, it's not enough just to have a backup of the data - you also need something new to restore your data to or you'll have a business suspended until you do.

    This is one of the reasons there have been Open Forum Europe discussions about clouds and standards: it doesn't just facilitate choice, but it also ensures you have a place to migrate to if things go wrong.

    Clouds may save money, but they do so at increased levels of risk. This ought to be addressed in your Business Continuity Management planning.

    1. TheCloudLawyer

      Re: Those measures are rather woefully incomplete..

      Exactly: plan ahead. Too late to start planning once it's happened...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Those measures are rather woefully incomplete..

        Exactly: plan ahead. Too late to start planning once it's happened...

        Your handle reminds me of topic I keep throwing into the ring during discussions: jurisdiction. If your recovery plan involves a vendor in another jurisdiction you better have the legality planned as well. Data migrations from one jurisdiction to another contain all sorts of lovely problems, especially if you're migrating from the EU to the US (basically you'll be stripping the protection of personal data, and may thus not only fall foul of EU Data Protection laws but also set yourself up for an almighty mauling in the press if privacy conscious organisations or customers find out.

        If you think you have challenges with technology, wait until you get to the legal side of it.

        1. TheCloudLawyer

          Re: Those measures are rather woefully incomplete..

          The legal side - particularly data laws - is often misunderstood. However, it is sensible to think about the legal issues upfront. But I would say that!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Those measures are rather woefully incomplete..

            The legal side - particularly data laws - is often misunderstood. However, it is sensible to think about the legal issues upfront. But I would say that!

            You and I should meet up - I am sure those would be long evenings over large quantities of combustable liquids :).

  6. mastersian

    Cloud Risk Mitigation

    Vision Solutions has been talking about Cloud Risk Mitigation for some time, that is leveraging a secondary Cloud provider for DRaaS and I agree with some of the comments here it is all about the recovery not the back up. BCM needs to now take into account all of the additional risks that come with using the Cloud for production, making sure there is an exit strategy for when your chosen provider gets into difficulty or can no longer provide the services you need is key as well as having a DR strategy that allows you to have your systems up and running elsewhere in the event of sudden outage or insolvency.

  7. Deltics

    The solution is simple...

    Anything critical to your business needs to be managed with the least possible risk and that means taking ownership, not delegating responsibility and hoping for the best.

    Legal remedy after the fact is all well and good, but not much help if your business has failed or incurred significant, unrecoverable losses n the meantime.

    1. TheCloudLawyer

      Re: The solution is simple...

      Exactly. If you didn't build this scenario into your business continuity plan, it may well be too late to run to your lawyer.

  8. jake Silver badge

    The "Cloud" is marketing speak for ...

    ... snakeoil.

  9. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Every Solution has Problems

    Yes, if you move some or all of your IT to a cloud you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls, and yes, your provider going bankrupt is one of those, but as the article suggests there are ways to mitigate the impact of this.

    However, not moving to a cloud also has its pitfalls. People who don't perform the necessary checks have been losing data since about an hour after the first electronic computer was switched on. If you do things yourself then a variety of things go wrong: your server room could burn down; your servers could break down; your sysadmins could become disgruntled and screw you over.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @ Roj Blake (Re: Every Solution has Problems)

      "If you do things yourself then a variety of things go wrong: your server room could burn down; your servers could break down; your sysadmins could become disgruntled and screw you over."

      And somehow, in your mind, "the cloud" is immune to same? What colo(u)r is the sky in your world?

      I'll stick to managing my own electonic computer systems, ta you very much.

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