How local cloud services reduce the risk of submarine fiber disruptions

Pamela Utomakili
20 May, 2021 - 0 Comment(s)

Life in today’s world is so heavily dependent on the internet, that disruptions to it may significantly affect the quality of social interaction, business, leisure, and public services available to us. Organizations are always seeking ways to improve things in this area, as it is often crucial to the success of their operations.

When Undersea Cables Break

Undersea communication cables are a vital part of the modern data transmission infrastructure. Nigeria owes its ability to access and interact with the internet to them. These fiber cables are laid under seas and oceans and stretch over thousands of miles to connect to the rest of the world with the physical storage facilities that hold the internet’s data. About 99% of international communication happens via this means.

Now, imagine that one or a few of these cables get broken. The impact on business for companies hosting their data in offshore public clouds is huge.

This scenario has recently played out in Nigeria. A major data service disruption occurred in mid-January, 2020, which saw internet users experience very slow loading speeds, as well as numerous failed banking transactions.

The disruption was caused by damage to two subsea fibre cables, SAT-3 and WACS, which connect countries along the West African coast to Europe. With the faults on these two cables, the quality of data transmission for many users in several African countries (including Nigeria) fell. It was estimated that it would take a week to fix the cables.

In the meantime, banks and other businesses that host their data in offshore public clouds had their affected by this failure leading to lost business, failed transactions, dissatisfied customers and high cost from adopting emergency measures, and adjusting to the alternative channels they have procured.  

Preventing Business Disruption Resulting from Damaged Undersea Cables: Local Hosting as a Solution

So, how can we prevent disruptions to businesses like the one just described?

While having multiple backbone links to the Internet via multiple submarine cables sound like the sure way to avoid such calamities, this isn’t guaranteed as played out in this case affecting 2 different cables at the same time. Imagine the shock to companies who assumed they were safe because they were connected to the 2 backbones,

A safer, and cheaper, approach will be for companies to consider  hosting their data locally as they will not  have to worry about such disruptions. That’s a problem for organizations that rely on foreign cloud service providers.

In fact, hosting data locally help businesses and public sector agencies provide numerous other benefits other than mitigating risks submarine cable outages.  Companies with their data hosted locally experience unprecedented performance from fast and easy access to their data. This is because of the low single digit latency access to their data. It also allows them to know the physical location of their data, despite being in the cloud, which in turn helps them comply with data sovereignty requirements of the country. Technical support and fault resolution is also better and quicker as they can work more closely with their cloud service provider, and determine security strategies that are tailored to suit their peculiar needs.

Reducing Risks Through a Hybrid Cloud or Multi-Cloud Strategy

Companies should get more deliberate about their cloud strategy and spread out their risk over multiple cloud platforms. In other words, they can distribute their workloads across 2 or more clouds.

In cloud computing, there are two kinds of cloud: private cloud and public cloud. A private cloud is in the control of and used by a single company for its own purposes. They own the infrastructure that supports it. Public clouds, on the other hand, are offered by third parties and are available over the internet.

Companies may also distribute workloads using multiple cloud platforms to deal with different tasks. For instance, they may back up different kinds of non-sensitive files on various public cloud applications, while hosting critical data in their private cloud. This strategy is usually referred to as a multi-cloud solution.

Companies can also do more than just have different clouds for different purposes. They could deploy both private and public clouds for the same task. An example: the data they use can be stored in the private cloud, while services from the public cloud may be used to process it. This is what we refer to as a hybrid cloud strategy

Layer3Cloud: Offering Solutions that Reduce the Risk of Service Disruptions

Layer3Cloud offers cloud services and local hosting to companies in Nigeria that want to experience the performance of an edge cloud as well as reduce the risk of disruptions to their business. With its services running out of data centers within Nigeria, clients don’t have to worry about broken undersea communication cables or other problems that cause major network failures.

Layer3Cloud also provides services that alleviate the effects of network disruptions. Her remote backup, disaster recovery-as-a-service, and multi-cloud solutions ensure sustained access to data and business continuity even when one or a few network resources fail.

By deliberately pursuing a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy, companies that may already have contracts with hyperscaler public clouds such as Microsoft Azure, AWS and the likes, can distribute their workload across local cloud providers such as Layer3Cloud which will lessen the impact of Internet service disruptions on their business.

If you would like to find out how our services can help you mitigate the risks of internet service interruptions, contact us here.