Whilst this week’s RSA conference claims security is the thorn in cloud computing’s side, a recent Stratus Technologies and ITIC survey of 650 IT professionals in 18 countries underscores how the cloud is increasing the need for highly available server platforms.

Whilst, according to Microsoft’s Scott Charney  “There’s no such thing as 100% security unfortunately, either in the physical world or in the electronic world”, there is, fortunately, such a thing as 99.9999% guaranteed uptime in the electronic world (if not the physical.) Is ultra high availability about to come of age?

According to the Stratus/ ITIC research twenty-five percent of respondents intended to upgrade a significant portion of server hardware within 12-18 months in support of virtualisation and, further out, cloud-computing initiatives.

This route exposes businesses to increased downtime (and associated security) risk. By its very nature, placing more applications on fewer servers, virtualisation burdens the underlying hardware. Ensuring uptime reliability, especially in light of executive expectations, has never been so important; raising awareness of levels of uptime reliability never more timely. I suggest that ultra high availability’s time has come.