Risk Assessment

December 19, 2009

A provider had an outage today. Nothing new. Outages happen.  What is surprising is the blamestorming from the companies that depend on the provider. Folks, if your business is down and you can’t survive because your infrastructure provider has had a problem, this is your fault.  There is a cost to redundancy, and if the cost of redundancy is greater than the expected impact of the outages for any period of time, then you don’t make your system redundant. You also lose the right to complain about the impact on your business. To make it clear, because people seem to have a hard time understanding this, I’ve built a simple model that can be used to evaluate the various scenarios.

I hope this helps people make an informed risk/benefit trade-off. The reduced noise on twitter will be a useful side benefit.

For folks who really want to dig into these arguments, please seen Ben Black on SLA’s here and here.