Cloud, multi-Cloud: redundancy and carbon footprint


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Because the multi-Cloud is more complex and vital every day, the permanence of operations is the Grail of CIOs, who sometimes call themselves “Arthur”.

Because the world of the Web is in perpetual crusade towards new standards, new risks, new stakes, the IT quest is every day more arduous and energy consuming…

Journal du Net – 26 Nov 2021 – Francois Caron


This is the explosive context of the Cloud: to allow a permanent activity whatever the hazards, positive (explosion of requests) or negative (explosion of server rooms), at the best cost.

To date, two schools of thought are clashing, still temporarily: the secure Cloud and the multi-Cloud. Many experts will criticize this definition (…) but it is tangible.

The secure Cloud is the most widespread: after the unfortunate fire of Strasbourg OVH, editors have communicated to have a disaster recovery plan (without too much information on the loss of data and time).

The multi-Cloud is less widespread: during this burning episode, few editors have communicated that their operations were little impacted. Understandably, no one is interested in trains that arrive on time.

Nevertheless, only a multi-cloud architecture (several networks, independent rooms, several geographical locations) can compensate for a major breakdown, whether physical or cyber.

In summary, the ideal solution would be to have a robust solution with a disaster recovery plan (secure cloud) and redundant (multi-cloud) guaranteeing the continuity of operations, with a minimal risk of data loss.

All this for a similar price and a low environmental impact…


Building rather than running

 Long before the first computerized methods, I was seduced by industrial methodologies, including the KAIZEN method, born in the 1960s, for continuous improvement in the automotive industry.

KAIZEN proposes to establish each day, slowly and steadily, the Quality improvement by stages (yesterday’s problem, today’s resolution, future objectives, short, medium and long term vision).

And above all KAIZEN aims at a low cost of realization, concerned with the economy of means.

It is both the culture and the history of a work team that forms its experience and allows it to gradually forge a strategic resolution: both structured and evolving.

Etienne Klein, philosopher of science, would not deny it: a vision of the future is inspired by its historical evolution and learns from its mistakes.

KAIZEN, born in the automotive industry, has strongly inspired the Agile and Scrum methods of the IT world, which is constantly accelerating.

But how does the praise of slowness apply to the hyper-growth of digital technology, the new industrial paradigm?

The answer is: “in stages”. Like the “Hare and the Tortoise”, there is no point in running, you have to build.

Complexity cannot be solved in a hurry. An answer that can be downloaded online is not a guarantee of sustainable progress. It is a never-ending race, a domination without exit.

Only a resolute and constant approach to progress will enable you to master the strategy.

First step, a secure Cloud architecture, second step a multi-Cloud architecture and consider step by step the evolutions and impacts:

– Should we back up everything, at what rate, at what cost?

– With what environmental footprint?

– With what legal consequences?

– Towards which emerging strategies?

So many questions and iterations, in order to have a flexible and adapted resolution at the functional, economical, energetic and legal level.

To feel rather than to believe

A sentence of Michel Bon, Carrefour’s manager in the 90’s, will have marked me: “The difference between a good and a bad product is the one that sells”. A key reference in marketing and business.

But is this product better because it sells, or will it become better because it dominates the market? Wink to GAFAM, BATX, and to our hurried decision makers who neglect some visible details…

Over-consuming networks, obese computer codes; they weigh as much on the market, as they waste energy and the bill weighs doubly: on the customer and on our environment.

A quick reading indicates without ambiguity that no GAFAM is so far very virtuous, not before ten years, they say…

There are however large European and foreign players that are energy balanced, consume less CPU, less water, less carbon.

They are often more economical, and just as secure (sometimes more), which for financing redundant solutions is not a detail.

Our belief in this area is pragmatic: for example, our redundant live video broadcast architecture of the Minister of Health.

The cost of this complex architecture (encoder, link, ingest, webcast and streaming) and redundancy is not double: it is only 120%, with invoices to prove it.

This result is due to several factors: methodology, design, strategy, and technology watch…

And the icing on the cake is that our two operators are powered by 100% renewable energy, while GAFAMs have higher costs and promise to plant trees, as if by chance…

As the KAIZEN method rightly says “Do it First, do your Best”.

Let’s choose first what is good for us: a multi-Cloud architecture (redundant, secure) and our best efforts for low energy consumption. A responsible strategy, if I may summarize.


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