How an expired credit card can shut down your entire business
Back in the old days when you had physical servers hosting your website, a hosting provider would have to take physical steps to suspend a customer’s account – blocking network access or powering down equipment. In the virtualised/cloud era, it’s now a case of issuing a single command to halt or delete your instances.
Instead of paying manually by invoice through an accounts receivables team where due dates and multiple attempts to collect payment would be made, billing is now completely automated through credit card. You could forget to pay off your card limit. Your card could be stolen. It might expire. You could be on holiday and not read the payment alerts. Or something could simply go wrong with your bank.
Amazon has disabled my account because of a billing screwup by AMEX. Where should I buy my ebooks while they sort their crap out?
— Will Critchlow (@willcritchlow) February 7, 2013
This means there’s potential for a failed payment to become a single point of failure as your hosting provider suspends your account for overdue invoices. Do you know how many times your vendor will attempt to bill your account? Will they just suspend your instances or will they be deleted? Is this the same across your hosting vendor? E-mail? DNS?
X (software/infrastructure/platform) as a service has many benefits but have you considered billing as a single point of failure?
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