What Myanmar ’s crisis teaching us about Cloud

On 1st February 2021, the world woke up to the shocking news as Myanmar ’s Military staged a coup and formally seized power. A state of emergency was declared as well as access to the internet dropped sharply while protests started and still continues to erupted across the country.

No alt text provided for this image

Monash University’s IP Observatory, which monitors internet quality around the world, said connectivity fell sharply in some areas of the country on 1st February 2021.

As a cloud consulting and advanced partner of AWS in ASEAN and supporting some of the largest Enterprises in Myanmar, we’re standing steady with our clients & partners amid this challenging time.

Starting from midnight, internet connectivity, landline telephone service, and mobile voice connections were massively disrupted across various cities. TV channels and radio went off the air. As the most extreme scenarios unfold in front of you, in real life and suddenly, there is no guidance to follow. At that moment, we’re expecting you to do, if not, say something, more than at any other time.

How well are you prepared?

The first question you should ask yourself rather it is on a personal or corporate level would be: Are we well prepared and what can be done now?

Here is what you should check and examine as immediate actions:

A. What essentials services are we currently using?

B. Where is our Database backup located and when was the latest overall backup we performed?

C. What are the available connectivity alternatives at this stage?

D. How do we act in the face of a temporary connectivity cut?

A wise answer might be simple & old advice from your Grandma’s: “Do not put all your eggs in one basket”:

1. Activate your Business Continuity plan

To start with, activate your business continuity plan and quickly resume as much as you can.

As soon as the connection is disrupted and the internet is down, there is nothing to do if you haven’t yet fully backed up your data on the public cloud. Yes, the connection might be suspended for a period of time, however, be ensured that your data and resources are fully secured on your public cloud servers located in different geographical regions.

2. Backup

Keep more options by backing up your data and storage within a local DC. This is an important issue that you need to address carefully although it might incur duplicate costs in several cases. There are several ways today to duplicate data and resources in local DCs, without facing astronomical costs.

3. Connectivity

Several options for connectivity which related to local, outside, and sea cable. I agree that it is easy to say but un-certain is certain in today’s world. Connectivity’s options can be spread and be ready. AWS Direct Connect is one option, Google Cloud and Microsoft are also offering similar solutions. Both Local fiber and lease lines depend on each country as well the level of SLAs.

Rather it is a political outbreak or getting locked out of your Google account (by no one else but @Google). Same lessons learned.

An interesting or rather furious story from which we can all learn is the case of Andrew Spinks, One of the co-creators of the 2D video game ‘Terraria’, who has been locked out of his Google accounts for more than 3 weeks. I must admit, when quite a few, if not all, of our digital assets, are owned by Google and other platforms, this is an unpleasant experience.

Rather you are a corporate or a person, starting with basic services such as Gmail, Android, Chrome, or YouTube.

No alt text provided for this image

A military coup happened in Myanmar, yes, and it may happen somewhere else, however, there is a higher chance to become another Andrew Spinks locked out for “suspicious activity “as defined by the big guys and I believe this is nothing less devastating than a military coup.

The following steps are essentials to any businesses

A. Understand your current assets and make sure you are having an automated back up to your public cloud (daily preferably).

B.  Make sure to have several options for your connectivity.

C.  Keep your main data within a local Datacenter as an option.

D.  In some cases, use cold backup (external storage).

E.  Always seek advice with a cloud consulting company and your partners.

On a personal level, beyond the question of privacy, to fully rely on a unique platform such as Google services, especially if you have a business or your livelihood, is a risk that you are taking.

A. Rethinking your digital assets and risk diversification can prevent the destruction of an entire life (yes entire).

B. You can use Gmail, but with your own email address. No problem using Chrome, but recommended at least with a password manager.

To our friends in Myanmar

We know that the freedom of the local population, the internet connection, etc. are still at stake. The political leaders are under detention. The Military is in power.

The coming two months are important to the citizens of Myanmar as far as the global community is concerned. It is hard to predict the future of the country for now. But let us hope that democracy and rule of law are prioritized. We must respect the people’s mandate and voice.

I take this chance to send our deep respect and love to our friends and the people of Myanmar.

Don’t hesitate to send me your comments and share your experience on this critical topic.

Author: Doron Shachar

CEO & Founder at Renova Cloud