Disaster Recovery and The Cloud: A Recipe for Success

Cloud Disaster Recovery – ingredients for a Recipe that Saves Money and Offers a Safe, More Secure Situation with Greater Accessibility

Cloud computing and disaster recovery are like peanut butter and chocolate – two great flavors that taste even better together. There are several companies that have recently entered the “Disaster Recovery in the Cloud” arena, offering services such as data backup, business continuity and disaster recovery services for MSPs packaged together into a single suite. Before jumping on that bandwagon, let’s deep dive into these three topics with a bit more detail.

When businesses hear the phrase “Cloud Computing,” their initial question is (understandably) how much control they will retain. There is the fear and uncertainty of added risk as well as the fear of losing control of their data. This is a common thought pattern, and is completely justified.

So why move to the cloud?

The promise of cost savings derived from cloud computing is very attractive, but concrete financial returns are not always quickly achieved. Except, perhaps, when it comes to disaster recovery.

Cloud Computing, by nature, is a distributed concept with some backup already available. However, the concern of the reduced reliance on local infrastructure on physical hardware, and the subsequent perceived risk of trusting another vendor with the business continuity of your business certainly gives some organizations pause. With due diligence and an understanding of the available feature-set, though, cloud disaster recovery is a very attractive solution. The additional cost savings doesn’t hurt, either.

At the end of the day, cloud-based disaster recovery allows you to add important capabilities to your IT infrastructure at a reduced cost—especially when you consider your alternative options.

Companies that have balked at the cost of building out their own disaster recovery infrastructure often find the cloud more cost effective. Offloading the expense hardware, software and network infrastructure to be a “what-if” solution can be very expensive. Think about it: your primary and secondary gear as well as the maintenance and support of lot can be tough to swallow, especially considering failover gear just sits in standby until something fails. Why pay for a room full of gear with the sole purpose of waiting for a failure?

Many companies do in fact use an outside vendor for disaster recovery, so a move to the cloud isn’t much of a change.

Here are some major points you should keep in mind when thinking about your approach to cloud disaster recovery:

1. Make sure your cloud provider offers business continuity as a necessary service, and that it’s part of your SLA.

2. The cloud provider should be in the know about its hardware/software and any sort of managed gear for failures. They should have multiple datacenters in multiple locations in order to quickly move data around or bring up backup and additional VMs if necessary.

3. Choose business continuity. Backup solutions are wonderful, but take it a step further with business continuity. Although they sound one-in-the-same, the key difference is offline backups vs. online, or online-accessible at a different location. Simply flip the switch, and you’re back in business.

While one of the key drivers for cloud computing is reduced cost and more feature-set, restoring data in the cloud is also much quicker than other disaster-recovery scenarios, and there’s no hardware to buy. A full disaster recovery solution at a reduced cost will sweeten the pot. Cloud computing and disaster recovery, much like peanut butter and chocolate, have a tasty future ahead of them, with the sweetest part coming when you see the savings on your bottom line. So, if you choose to dip your spoon into cloud security, these points can be your key ingredients for a delicious recipe that saves your organization money and offers a safe, more secure situation with greater accessibility.

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