Downtime is something that no company, regardless of size, is dreaming of. It is usually associated with monetary or client confidence loss. Having a disaster recovery plan (DR) is essential for every business today. Depending on company size DR plans vary in flavors and level of protection. Historically companies of smaller size have neglected the implementation of DR plan due to cost. IT departments had a hard time convincing business owners that DR is more than just an expensive insurance policy.

Yes, a lot of business owners decided to opt out from having a good DR plan after evaluating the likeliness and possibilities of a disaster striking their business or office location. Needless to say that some of those businesses are no longer functioning due to an unexpected disaster or major system failure.

The days of “crazy” expensive DR plans are over. Today, System Administrator and IT managers have an easier job to do when it comes down to backup/restore and Disaster Recovery. In the past there has been a direct correlation in DR between speed of recovery and cost: the faster you wanted to recover, the more expensive it was!

With Cloud computing and the progress that the IT industry made in SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS the recovery capabilities of advanced DR are now offered at a more affordable price. Most IT professionals would bundle virtualization with Cloud services and technologies to achieve reliable and yet inexpensive and affordable DR solutions.

Cloud based recovery services back up or replicate physical or virtual servers to the service provider’s multitenant environment, which consists of virtual servers and shared storage. In the case of a disaster declaration, the service provider recovers your servers as virtual servers hosted in their environment.

With these services, you can recover your systems in hours with just a few minutes to a few hours of data loss and business interruption. Cloud based backup and recovery gives the option of having fast and reliable restore but without the cost of dedicated IT infrastructure, storage-based replication, and high bandwidth.

Currently a number of Cloud based recovery services exist, but Cloud based DR is no different than any other DR strategy. Whatever the architecture is behind the DR plan it should offer the appropriate level of “comfort” for System administrators, IT Managers, company executives and owners. Critical systems should be well protected and able to recover quickly in case of a disaster. Requirements for RTOs (Recovery Time Objectives) and RPOs (Recovery Point Objectives) do NOT change!

Cloud recovery services can solve core DR challenges and also solve other types of data protection related challenges. In addition, these services aren’t only for SMBs. Large enterprises can take advantage of them as a way to fill gaps in current backup and DR strategy or to deliver a more cost effective DR. Some of the typical use cases are: Local recovery and entry-level DR, Companywide computer backup (Workstations and even laptops), Satellite or remote office backup and recovery, Dr for mission critical systems and applications.

For a long time IT recovery services were dominated by the major players — HP, IBM, and SunGard. And for a long time these businesses suffered from being too expensive for smaller companies and not being flexible enough for large enterprises.

The advances made in the past 48 months in Cloud computing backup and recovery are riving the industry and invite new players to join the race for backup and recovery dominance.

Some of the key players to be aware of and follow their progress are: Amazon, CA, EMC, i365, Sunguard, Iron Mountain, Nirvanix, Venyu, and Symantec.

The next time you have to review or test your DR plan or maybe when your DR contract is up for renewal, make sure you look at Cloud based backup and DR and maybe even evaluate a couple of solutions that you think are going to suit your needs. Some companies are still using dated technologies in their DR plans and have to completely rethink the approach to IT backup and recovery.

If you are still using tape backups or local disk backup you need to think about replacing those with new Cloud recovery services. It will improve your recovery capabilities, and you won’t have to worry as much about the maintenance or upgrade issues. It is time to “dive” into the Cloud!!!

HINTS:

  • Be careful with Data Privacy laws such as the Federal Privacy Act, Electronic Documents Act, EU Data Protection Directive and Personal Information Protection Act.
  • Do your research on the Cloud backup provider!!! Ensuring security of yours and your clients data is your priority number one. You will find many online backup service providers that do NOT offer enterprise level service and SLAs. Look for SAS70 Type II and ISO 27001/27002 certifications.
  • Take your company’s growth into consideration! You want to select a provider that you can grow with as your company information technology needs grow.

Related Posts: