This week Kevin Clark asks whether the Cloud is a suitable component in a Disaster Recover solution and touches on some of the developments in this area as well as providing sound advice to CXOs who are considering exploring this potential opportunity.
Organisations the world over understand very well the need for recovery solutions that keep their business running and their people working effectively in the event of disasters or unforeseen issues that disable or interrupt their data centre operations.
But how cost-effective are the traditional disaster recovery solutions, and does the Cloud offer the opportunity to adopt more effective solutions?
Today, it’s fair to say that the majority of recovery plans are manual – backup media is sent to a recovery site where critical servers and applications are rebuilt and brought online for the user community. It’s not a real time solution, so some level of disruption is inevitable. Quite simply, this is the dominant model right now because the costs associated with near real time failover – operations and alternate infrastructure (data centre, network, servers, storage, software) – can be prohibitive.
However, the emergence of the Cloud as a viable corporate computing platform opens up a unique opportunity – providing a remote computing environment that can act as a real-time and effortlessly scalable replication target for critical applications.
Could it form the basis for an affordable and effective real time back-up and recovery solution?
It’s early days yet, but it’s already possible to identify a range of potential benefits. For one thing the cloud’s pay-per-use pricing model allows companies to pay for long-term data storage, and only pay for servers in the event of a disaster. Equally, a cloud-based solution can also save companies time during disaster recovery because there are fewer barriers to entry than the tape, which underpins faster recovery.
Already a range of cloud-based disaster recovery models have emerged:
- Do it Yourself (DIY) DR: create a custom solution for your company
- DR-as-a-service (DRaaS): use a pre-packaged service solution
- Cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery (C2C DR): ability to failover infrastructure from one cloud data centre to another.
As ever, the trick is to assess and identify the solution that makes both organisational, risk management, compliance and economic sense for your business.