Office Hours Hangout: How to run a cloud “fire drill”

Last week on the Hangout we discussed how to load test before a big event. As part of that discussion, we mentioned the need to run a “fire drill,” to practice what to do in the event that traffic spikes above a certain threshold and the site goes offline.

For this week’s Hangout, we walk through the steps to do just that. If you missed the show, I’ve linked to a few highlights, embedded the full video and an audio-only version below.


Fire drills as an analogy

The inspiration for fire drills comes from school-age fire safety education. I shared a story about my son’s sudden interest in fire safety, and how fire drills are very similar to to the steps we can take to proactively prepare for those “what if” moments.  Fire drills are all about practicing — and hoping you’ll never have to execute the plan. I recommend trust, but verify — trust your plan will work, but test to verify that it does.

What’s in a fire drill?

The components of the fire drill process include:

While this is a long list of areas to address, it’s just an example. Each individual fire drill will be different, so we recommend building your own fire drill playbook from scratch. As always, we recommend contacting your account team to work with you on the plan.

That’s it for this week, and good luck! Be sure to watch our new show every week, live at 1 p.m. Central; our on-demand audio podcasts are available via iTunes, or your favorite podcasting app.

Drew Cox was an original member of the Rackspace Managed Cloud support team who pioneered both the Technical Account Management position for the Rackspace Cloud and Rackspace's approach to Cloud Customer On-boarding. Before Rackspace, Drew spent time as a Government Contractor working with all types of organizations where he developed a passion for small/startup business. When he's not working with customers to perfectly tailor their cloud solution, Drew is exploring Texas with his family, looking for his next tasty bite and staying blissfully caffeinated. Follow Drew on Twitter @DrewCoxSA.


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