Saturday 10 December 2016

But what if the Internet stops working?

The reliance on an internet connection is perhaps the most common objection to the adoption of SaaS education services such as Googles GSuite for Education and Microsoft Office365.

There is no doubt that should the internet connection drop or be disrupted in any way the service to the school will be  reduced and this creates a risk that needs to be addressed.

However the situation is no different to an on-premise installation where services are hosted on a single server or the network is routed through a single switch. Should any of these elements fail then access to data and service is disrupted in the same way to the internet connection being down.

For local installations these concerns are addressed by duplicating systems to provide redundancy and resilience and therefore same approach should apply to the internet connection.

In a SaaS based deployment the expense of the internet connection should be viewed as the major IT investment for the school. In the same way that much larger amounts of money were expended on on-premise hardware, the money should be reallocated to support a resilient high bandwidth connection to serve the same purpose.

If the expense can be justified for tape backup devices, NAS storage and servers and all the hardware duplication required to provide network resiliency then why not apply the same approach to the internet connection.

At a technical level a level of redundancy can be provided in number of ways, each with an associated cost and service profile and will be location dependent.

Information has always been been at the end of a wire. Local data is an illusion created by the magic of networking.

With SaaS that wire has just got a little bit longer but the solution is the same.
Serverless School

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