How To Troubleshoot 5 Common Cloud Computing Problems

How To Troubleshoot 5 Common Cloud Computing Problems

Provision of troubleshooting services should be one of the cornerstones of any good IT service provider. It should be clearly marked out in the service level agreement (SLA) signed by both the service provider and client. HSC Systems has a 99% SLA as a standard, which has been established over 30-years of targeted IT service provision for a number of small to medium businesses. From a general IT support perspective, its best to use a service provider that operates on a hybrid model:

There should be a focus on initial face-to-face interaction and diagnostics before any service provision, and then this should be followed by day-to-day cloud hosting troubleshooting. In the initial physical meeting, make sure your service provider is able to diagnose the health of your business’s IT infrastructure. A proactive and thorough approach should be followed, to find as much in-depth information as possible about the systems, security, and related problems of your business’s networks.


Basic Steps in Cloud-Related Diagnostics

Once an IT systems health baseline has been established, preliminary recommendations will be made with regards to hardware, operating systems, software, and any additional changes which need to be in place for optimal operation. At this stage, you’ll probably also want to adopt a cloud hosting strategy. Your data will be moved onto the cloud in increments, firstly through remote access to your servers, so that a virtual server can be created which can meet your current and medium-term needs; then, through a full data migration to the new, virtual environment, where your employees will need to stress test the system.

Once you’re up and running, you will encounter some common problems that cloud users face. In order to get adequate IT support, you’ll need to prepare two answers for the troubleshooting process:

  1. Who reported the issue and how many people are experiencing it (individual or company-wide problem)?
  2. What has changed? (Speed or performance? Runtime Errors, etc.?)

Your IT service provider will then need to check their monitoring system to see when the issue occurred and specifically, what the issue was. There should be a log of every event that happens on the server, so this should not be a difficult exercise. Then, there should be tracking protocol set up to trace the route of the error to find the cause. Finally, once the cause has been found, routing can be reset, or an alternative can be tested to correct the problem.

5 Common Cloud Computing Problems You’ll Probably Have to Troubleshoot

Your data can be accessed using multiple devices simultaneously. While the live hosted server is running, any nominated employees have access to the hosted software. Even if there is a fault somewhere, the automatic failover features guarantee smooth transition and continued collaboration. So, there’s no need to worry about business-specific tasks such as payroll or stock-taking coming to a halt simply because employees are not on-premises.

1. You Cant Access the Cloud Application

You’ll find that 99% of the time, this problem is an internet connectivity issue. Either there is a hardware fault – which can be as basic as having to plug in a router or restart it, to something a bit more technical such as a faulty component because of electrical variances, much like we get in South Africa through load shedding. Sometimes, it can even be a problem with your ISP. Your IT service provider will be able to troubleshoot hardware related issues via the phone and ping the ISP from their offices to see if the ISP itself is having any connectivity issues.

2. The Speed Or Performance Of The Cloud Platform Has Slowed

Any slowness experienced is usually perceptive slowness not actual slowness because cloud computing is fully scalable and almost instantaneous in its adaptability to increased needs. It will either be a perception issue or a connectivity issue. As with other connectivity issues, the IT service provider will troubleshoot it for you as such.

3. You’ve Forgotten The Password or Login Details

This is a simple fix. If you can’t remember your password to log onto the server or application, it can easily be reset by a designated admin. Usually, your service provider will be the primary admin and they can reset your logins remotely in real-time.

4. Your Data Security Seems To Be Compromised

Any good cloud computing host will have data security as one of its core offerings in the SLA. Your data should be protected by tried and tested firewalls, server replication techniques, and cloud backups to independent offsite parties. It is not advisable to have your own servers as they can easily be compromised through bad data-handling, and the data can easily be made physical, stolen, and/or lost.

5. Expenses Related to Cloud Computing Seem To Be Rising

Again, this is a perception issue. It might seem like it would be cheaper for you to buy your own servers once-off, but with cloud-hosting, you receive a service and an SLA which are typically not considered and work out cheaper in the long run when bundled together. A once-off purchase does not come at a once-off price because there are the ongoing costs of maintenance, labour, and overheads. The best way for your IT service provider to troubleshoot this is to show you the numbers – what you would spend year-on-year and what you will be saving.

A Successful Troubleshooting Case Study From HSC Systems

  • A medical supplies and consumables company was hosting its accounting package with Google.
  • The company had a large amount of data on its SQL-based accounting software.
  • A complaint came from the company that employees were wasting a considerable amount of time running monthly statements and processing invoices – particularly at month-end.
  • A localised server, with lower ping times and latency reduction was employed to improve performance.
  • An initial set-up was created on a test-basis, and once the test proved successful, the company’s data was migrated to HSC Systems’ hosted infrastructure.
  • However, by the end of February, it became apparent that the slowness at the end of the month still persisted, even though it was much improved.
  • The setup was reviewed by the IT service provider, along with the relevant stakeholders from the company.
  • The software providers of the accounting platform were engaged to optimise as much as possible on their side and then on the hosting side, tasks were centralised for two reasons:
    1. To improve performance.
    2. If performance was an issue, it could be easier identified what the actual issue was.
  • Three separate Virtual Private Servers (VPNs) were created:
    1. The first was running the Domain Controller (authenticates users)
    2. The accounting application server
    3. Server to run Microsoft SQL
  • Since these measures were implemented, there has been a noticeable increase in performance on the side of the company, and they were able to save money through the implemented solution.

At The End Of The Day, You Should Leave Troubleshooting To The IT Professionals

As you can see from the case study above, in practice much of the troubleshooting that goes on for a company’s operations requires extensive knowledge of cloud computing, hardware, software, and their relations. In order for you to do any justice to your operations, it’s best to leave the troubleshooting to the professionals. They are equipped with years of experience and the necessary theoretical frameworks – not to mention the shared exchange of knowledge between them. They will be able to guide you towards a solution that not only fixes your problem but does so optimally. And at the end of the day, you can’t ask for anything more than that.