3 Questions to Ask Before Implementing Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery
Many businesses consider moving their disaster recovery plan to the cloud. The primary reason for this is typically cost; using the cloud as your DR site eliminates the need to purchase and support hardware that will be idle most of the time.
There are several approaches you can take to implementing DR in the cloud. For critical applications, replicating both data and VMs to the cloud will minimize recovery time. Another model uses the cloud only for its storage capability and restores data from the cloud to secondary on-premises servers in case of disaster. Disaster Recovery as a Service and managed DR hand off the responsibility for designing and executing the disaster recovery process to a services provider.
Before selecting a disaster recovery approach, whether in the cloud or on site, consider these questions:
1. How much disaster recovery capability is needed?
In most cases, DR isn’t expected to become the permanent, primary processing facility; it’s a temporary, stopgap measure until normal operations can be restored at the primary site. This means it may not be necessary to be able to recover every application and data set; low priority workloads may be able to be put on hold while the primary site is brought back online. There may also be high-performance workloads that can’t run effectively in the cloud, and you may need a hybrid solution to handle their recovery.
2. Which cloud DR provider is right for me?
There’s a wide range of cloud DR providers and a corresponding wide range of services they offer. Make sure they provide the services you need, such as VM replication. Because providers are often regionally based and disasters can affect an entire region, find out their capacity and what percentage of their customers they would be able to support in case of a regional crisis. In addition, make sure the provider offers the appropriate level of security for your data; for sensitive data, such as health or financial information, you should only use a cloud provider who meets industry-specific security standards.
3. What parts of my DR plan aren’t solved by the cloud?
Even if you’re able to replicate all your data and all your processing needs to the cloud, you need to define the process to smoothly transition your business operations to the new server. This includes technical issues, such as providing adequate bandwidth to transition data to the cloud; end-user issues, such as providing your employees a backup worksite where they can access the cloud; and business issues, such as re-entering data for transactions disrupted by the failover.
Do you need help figuring out the answers to those questions? Prescient Solutions offers disaster recovery services that will help you design, implement, and test your disaster recovery plan. Whether in the cloud, with one of our data center partners, or at your own secondary site, our services ensure that your business will quickly recover from any disaster and resume normal operations. Contact us for a free infrastructure assessment to begin identifying your disaster recovery requirements.