Cloud Disaster Recovery

What it is and why it matters

Cloud Disaster Recovery is a form of insurance to protect your IT assets in the case of a disaster. It works by 'virtualising' an entire service into a single bundle that can be reloaded at a later point.

In worst-case data loss or disaster situations, the entire virtual server can be copied or backed up to another device or data centre and relaunched on a virtual host in a matter of minutes.
Cloud Disaster Recovery is typically implemented only when it is required. Regular backups are made from a data centre to a cloud storage repository. In the case of data loss or an extended outage (lack of service) by a vendor, another replicated virtual server can be launched from the alternative physical location to handle data and application requirements until the original is put back in place.

High-quality Cloud DR services are integrated into cloud storage and deployed by the vendor from a third-party specialist operator without the client even knowing. This is how online services are magically maintained during a natural disaster. Data and applications are relaunched in a distant location during the natural disaster. A business can also independently engage a Cloud DR vendor. For example, if a businesses’ cloud storage vendor went bankrupt, a Cloud DR strategy would kick in that would sustain the business until an alternative cloud storage vendor was made available.

Why Cloud Disaster Recovery is important

Disaster recovery services have always been expensive. Business pays more for faster and larger data recovery. In the case of Cloud DR, software can finely tune a substantial amount of data and applications to get the most value out of a DR budget. Cloud DR works extremely efficiently for small to medium-sized businesses. The smarter cloud services vendors provide full disaster recovery services that replicate the servers between data centres and the entire network configuration. In this way, the entire network recovers as fast as the backed up cloud servers. Cloud DR has a number of benefits for all SMBs, including

  • Low cost and attainable disaster recovery implementation. Before the creation of Cloud DR, a sincere data rescue strategy was simply out of reach. Disaster recovery, where mobilised teams drive in large volumes of backed-up data to your home-owned server centre, much like a SWAT team, is very expensive. For any business under the enterprise (large) scale, the ongoing cost of disaster recovery was impossible to pay. Cloud DR has brought disaster recovery to SMBs who wish to replicate their onsite servers or add an independent resource to replace a Cloud services vendor in the case of emergency.
  • Remove doubts over data stability and access from a single cloud services provider. No one ever wants to put all one’s eggs all in one basket. That is the point of cloud services in the first place. So how do we protect ourselves when solely relying on a single cloud services vendor? We engage a Cloud DR provider for one more layer of protection at a nominal base fee plus the time and amount we use the service, in case our cloud services provider fails. More equipped cloud services vendors also offer Cloud DR through an alternative branch of their operations.
  • Mitigate against vendor lock-in. Being tied to a vendor for one reason or another is as dangerous as giving your data away. Cloud DR services can be put in place against your cloud storage vendor so you always have the choice to walk away.
  • Meet your industry laws and regulations. Businesses in heavily regulated industries such as legal, healthcare and finance, must meet ever-changing data management and storage regulatory requirements. Cloud DR services that meet those requirements could and will be necessary for your business to legally operate. Even your ecommerce website is vulnerable to attack by hackers or litigation. There are plenty of reasons to be prepared with a low-cost Cloud DR strategy.

Challenges of Cloud Distaster Recovery

  • Underestimating Internet bandwidth requirements.  There’s a risk of only planning for bandwidth requirements to move data into the cloud without sufficiently analysing how to make the data accessible when a disaster strikes. Testing is the only way to find out true disaster requirements.
  • Integrating a private cloud storage solution. Private cloud storage solutions have physical dedicated machines that limit the number of users. This is more costly than public cloud services where the vendor indiscriminately creates virtual space from any number of machines at any time. Private cloud storage and services are used by businesses that require a higher level of security. This in turn can make it harder to find a suitable Cloud DR vendor. In summary, it is best to select a Cloud DR vendor when choosing a cloud storage and services provider.
  • Ensuring your Cloud DR provider’s technology is up-to-scratch. Buzzwords can make it very difficult for you to assess whether your Cloud DR provider actually has the technology you require. Only during testing will you be able to truly know. Perhaps you need to negotiate a trial period to ensure that your Cloud DR provider can do what they say. This periodical checking is critical. You also need to keep in step with technology updates.

Three keys to successfully implementing Cloud Distaster Recovery

As a decision maker who is looking for a Cloud DR solution for SMB, you require easy-to-access technology. You will be looking for a provider that allows you to run test data recovery scenarios as well as allow you to manage your own data and applications when an actual disaster is in progress.

  • Analyse your disaster recovery requirements
  • Compare vendor advertised services with service-level agreements, and cross-reference to determine the best provide
  • Create Cloud Disaster Recovery polices, train employees and test regularly.

Analyse your disaster recovery requirements

Triage is the main principle used when creating a Cloud Disaster Recovery plan. The advantage of cloud-based DR over traditional disaster recovery is that you can allocate resources. This means you can allocate more resources to the most important data and applications to keep your business operating in a disaster situation.

An analysis of your requirements starts with identifying what applications, services and data are to be prioritised. How much downtime can you withstand? To what extent will your business be impacted by downtime?

Compare vendor advertised services with service-level agreements and cross-reference to determine the best provider

Choosing the wrong provider can put your business in serious hot water in the event of a real data and application crash. Make sure you understand the terminology in SLAs and make sure you compare them. Request a trial period before agreeing to commit.

Create Cloud Disaster Recovery polices, train employees and test regularly

New technologies necessitate new procedures. It is also important to get employee buy-in for these procedures. Create policies highlighting the benefits to the company and to employees. Train and drill your team with simulations on a regular basis.

R & G Cloud Disaster Recovery Solutions

Are you thinking of using Cloud Distaster Recovery?

We have experience helping organisations make the transition can can help you see the benefits of increased efficiencies, improved productivity and minimised downtime.

Request a no obligation free Cloud Disaster Recovery assessment today.

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