When moving applications to regional IaaS clouds, we recommend customers evaluate their cloud provider’s network. Here are some things to look for that will help when evaluating an IaaS provider’s network to ensure the performance, availability, and service delivery of your web application.
1. Multiple ISPs
Make sure your provider has multiple ISPs behind the IP addresses they are assigning you. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is used to make the internet work, and if your cloud provider is not running their own BGP, you may want to understand why. In part, BGP allows the provider to handle ISP failures without a noticeable impact on the end-users.
2. Access to Expertise
The internet is a wild place and things will go wrong. Packets will get misrouted and blackholed by both mistake and malice. When you outsource the routing to your applications, it is important to consider how much of the provider's attention and expertise you will have access to in resolving issues that may only affect your site. Evaluate the fit from the point of view of them understanding your business and how responsive they will be.
3. Diverse Paths
Numerous outages have been caused by fiber cables being cut mistakenly by construction workers or intentionally by saboteurs. This happened to OVH in Quebec last month and caused over 24 hours of downtime. Having more than one ISP is not enough to minimize this risk. To minimize the chance of an outage due to cut fibers, make sure you verify that your regional IaaS provider has multiple ISP cables that are run on diverse physical paths into the data centre. That way, if a fiber is cut on the north side of the building, they can route all the traffic through the ISP’s fiber on the south side of the building.
Test the latency between the IaaS network and your end-users. Use a tool such as Cedexis or simply run your own ping tests. It is not uncommon to serve Asia Pacific customers from a Canadian cloud when you leverage Content Delivery Network services, however, some applications are more latency sensitive and may require regional clouds overseas.
A partner like CloudOps can help you select the right regional IaaS or mega cloud (AWS, Azure, Google). We built and operate cloud.ca to meet the needs of Canadian companies and we partner with other regional cloud providers around the world.
image credit: kitcyber.com
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