Office 365 is great, but what happens on a leap year with 366 days? Is February 29th no good? Or does it take a day off at the end of the year?

And during the festive season, does “the Cloud” take a break?

Forgive me Microsoft, but your name lent itself to this article – but it applies to all cloud services.

All good providers (including us at Curato) will be using the latest redundant hardware; the whole stack from hard drives, servers, power supplies, network interfaces, switches, routers, firewalls et al, all housed in a data centre with full security, 24×7 staff, CCTV, backup generators and everything required of a data centre.

Upgrades and maintenance will be performed at scheduled times, and done with minimum fuss and disruption.

As said in my previous article, “The cloud”? What and why all of this is a lot to consider for a smaller company, and to provide this kind of infrastructure and know-how in house is a big ask. In this day of fast reliable connections, the pressure is off to supply this in house even for larger corporations. I’ll say it again, use cloud services where ever you can, leverage this expertise and have one less thing to get involved with distracting you from your actual goals!

However, the weakest link (other than hacking attempts – I’ll cover that in another article) is most often your own internet connection. For individuals and smaller companies it’s often a single fixed broadband line, which whilst reliable isn’t totally infallible. Only when you lose your internet connection do you suddenly realise how dependant you are! That said, running two fixed line broadband connections is often folly unless you really need the extra speed.

Similarly, a prolonged power cut can be massively disruptive and effects everything!

There’s two simple ways to mitigate these potential problems, for the internet connection:

  1. Get yourself a new Internet Router that supports a USB 3G / 4G dongle. I use a Draytek 2830 ( which is not only an excellent router that supports multiple VPN tunnels as well as a 3G dongle.
  2. Get a Pay As You Go 3G / 4G SIM card for data only along with a dongle of choice, make sure it works with your router above!
  3. Have it on stand-by ready to plug in should the internet drop off and enjoy a continued connection until your fixed line broadband is running again.

For an extended power cut:

  1. Find your local hardware hire, our is Mark 1 Hire, but HSS or the like would do.
  2. Open an account to save time in the future (it’s also handy if you need some other bits in your day to day life).
  3. Work out the size of generator you would need – we only needed a 2KVA to run our development server, a desktop, a laptop and two monitors last time we needed this.
  4. Should you have a power cut, pop down, hire the generator and with a few extension leads you can be back up and running without too much pain.

Our own home and office setups will rarely rival those of a data centre but with a couple of plan B’s in place it’s possible to keep running through the most common disasters for our modern working world.