Designing for High Availability in the Cloud

Three key objectives of information security are to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization’s information. Most of the conversations I have with security professionals seem to revolve around the confidentiality and integrity of data.  The topic of availability is typically broached only in discussions regarding DDOS attacks or Hackvitism.  But more and more of the security professionals I have been talking to lately have been interested in topics related to reliability and availability; as their organizations adopt cloud services, more people seem to be interested in these topics.

When I write “availability” I mean that information and services can readily be accessed with a high level of Quality of Service.

With that in mind, I’d like to share with you a recently published whitepaper entitled “An Introduction to Building Reliable Services”. Designing and delivering reliable services is complex, and this paper aims to be the catalyst for further discussions among services teams and organizations, and the industry itself.

The paper discusses the fundamentals of service reliability and outlines a reliability design and implementation process that might be useful for organizations that create, deploy and/or consume cloud services.


Download Paper

One of the key aspects of a reliability design process is fault modeling. Just as threat modeling is an important step in the software design process, fault modeling is an important step in the design process for building reliable cloud services. It’s about identifying the interaction points and dependencies of a service and enabling the service’s engineering team to identify where investments should be made to ensure the service can be monitored effectively and issues detected quickly.

You can find out more about these reliability topics by reading articles published recently by David Bills, Microsoft’s Chief Reliability Strategist.

Tim Rains
Trustworthy Computing


About the Author
Tim Rains

Director, Security

Tim Rains is Director, Security at Microsoft where he helps manage marketing communications for Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise security, identity, and enterprise mobility products and services. Formerly, Tim was Chief Security Advisor of Microsoft’s Enterprise Cybersecurity Group where he helped Read more »