3 Strategies for Business Continuity in the Cloud

The cost of downtime continues to increase as companies become ever more dependent on computers to conduct their routine and critical business operations. Using cloud can significantly help businesses reduce the duration of downtime and minimize the costs.

Cloud-based Business Continuity Architectures

There are several possible architectures you can use to support rapid recovery using the cloud. You don’t have to restrict your company to a single solution; you may want to use a different strategy for the most important workloads and other, less critical functionality.

  1. Hot standby. Use hot standby when you need to be able to recover with no noticeable delay. In this configuration, standby servers are up in the cloud and ready to take over processing at the click of a button. Data needs to be synchronized between primary and standby sites in real-time to prevent the loss of transactions. Although the standby servers won’t be processing unless you actually fail over, their virtual machines will be up and active and your “pay per use” cloud will incur charges.
  2. Inactive standby. When you can absorb the cost of a little more downtime, inactive standby servers in the cloud can provide a cost-effective solution. In this scenario, your virtual machines in the cloud are inactive and don’t run up CPU-based charges from the cloud provider. Depending on how much data you are willing to lose in an outage, data can be synchronized less frequently, making the standby environment simpler to manage and monitor.
  3. Partial recovery. While traditionally either hot or cold standby solutions mirror your production environment, you can opt to maintain a smaller recovery environment that supports recovering critical applications only. Using this approach requires careful analysis of your workloads and making sure you understand which applications really are critical to your business functionality. While your first thought may be that those are the applications that enable specialized business operations, don’t overlook the importance of basic business software like email.

You can situate a cloud-based recovery architecture in either public or private cloud, but public cloud is likely to be more cost effective. Relying on private cloud for your business continuity and disaster recovery also means you have to manage the cloud yourself, which can be a distraction and cause complications during an outage.

Whichever architecture you choose and wherever you place your recovery cloud, it’s important to test your business continuity process to make sure your team is experienced with the recovery procedures. Prescient Solutions offers disaster recovery services to help Chicago and Schaumburg businesses achieve their business continuity needs. Contact us to learn how you can use the cloud to help your business get back online after an outage.

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