Can Moving to the Cloud Be Your Disaster Recovery Solution?
There are lots of reasons to think about moving to the cloud. Reducing the complexity of disaster recovery is one of them.
Cloud Reduces The Risk of Disaster and the Effort to Recover
Of all the routine tasks the IT department takes care of, disaster recovery planning is one of the hardest to justify. There’s a lot of time, effort, and money invested in equipment that you hope will never be used. Cloud reduces the risk of a disaster occurring and makes the response to it easier and cheaper.
To start, clouds have built-in high availability. You don’t need a backup process to ensure you can restore the latest files due to an outage. (You will still need to ensure a backup and archiving process that preserves data for historical purposes or to allow you to restore older data when needed).
The cloud provider handles the routine maintenance and support needed to keep servers up to date with security patches. This means using the cloud significantly reduces the risk of having an outage in the first place.
Cloud also provides the ability to scale, which is a major problem in keeping your non-cloud disaster recovery process working: it takes considerable effort and money to grow a secondary site in synch with your primary production site. When your workloads are in the cloud, the resources you need are inherently there, without additional planning or expenditure.
Cloud Doesn’t Eliminate the Need for Disaster Recovery Planning
Although cloud reduces the risk of outages, it doesn’t eliminate them; the major cloud providers have had their own widespread outages affecting customers. This risk can be mitigated by building additional instances in the cloud, whether using multiple geographical regions supported by one cloud provider or setting up cloud environments with multiple cloud providers.
Once you’ve got multiple clouds, you’re back to needing to define how you’ll handle a disaster that takes one of them out of service. You may need to figure out how you’ll direct traffic to a functioning site to avoid a site that’s down, and how you’ll synchronize data and resume normal operations once sites come back up.
Whether you’ve got one cloud and one cloud provider or multiples of both, you need to know how well the provider can defend against cyberattacks that can bring you down. It’s important to understand the service level agreements your cloud providers guarantee to understand what risk your plan needs to handle. At a minimum they should commit to deliver the same reliability you would demand from your internal IT team.
Regardless of your provider’s technical capability, you need to investigate their financial stability and that they won’t suddenly close up shop.
How has cloud affected your disaster recovery planning? Contact Prescient Solutions to ensure your disaster recovery plans are appropriate for your cloud-based infrastructure. We’ve provided IT consulting services and managed services to businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg for 20 years.