Chances are, if you own a business, you can’t afford a lot of downtime when it comes to IT. The problem is that in many cases, it’s very expensive to implement a traditional model for disaster recovery. It can also be time consuming and hard to keep up with.
That’s why many are moving to the cloud to handle disaster recovery. Even small businesses with less money can have the disaster recovery capabilities that a larger enterprise would more traditionally have. Before choosing a cloud provider, it is important to know the most important elements of a cloud disaster recovery plan. We’ll go over those now.
Infrastructure as a Foundation
Cloud DR (disaster recovery) allows you the ability to store a copy of your servers and all the data contained on the cloud. When an emergency strikes, you then have an excellent option for restoring that data quickly and easily. Of course, you will also need integration with your own on-site management environment for a seamless option. This also makes it possible to handle your DR just as you would anything else. It’s best to think of your management and data protection infrastructure as an integrated system, as this can give you efficient failover when there is disruption to your services.
Skills You Need
The cloud gives you a lot of flexibility and introduces a new hybrid environment for IT. As such, cloud DR has the requirement of a secondary site, as well as many IT skills and a time investment on a regular basis. There are many IT teams that can’t provide that on their own. The good news is that cloud DR often offers you managed services and support to complement skills you have on-site. You want a skilled provider who can give you management and expertise from the point of setup, and replication and testing on a regular basis. This lets your team work on daily tasks, while your operations are protected.
The reason disasters are so devastating is simply because they are unexpected. This is why it is so important to test your DR plan on a regular basis. A copy of your system can be created on the cloud, paid for during the duration of testing, and then deleted once testing is complete. Using cloud DR, you should have the ability for automated testing of all sorts, from routine application testing to DR tests. You want to be sure your provider is focused on the integration with your on-site systems. This allows you easy testing and a limited amount of manual needs.
Major disasters are things like natural disasters, such as floods, fires, or earthquakes. These do not often occur, although should be accounted for. The more common type of problem when dealing with IT operations are networking failures, security breaches, and human error. You should be sure that your provider can offer a business resiliency solution that includes both common and natural disasters. Many will be capable of offering you automation of recovery and restoration.
Performance After Failure
You want to know how the performance of systems will be after a recovery situation. Many service level agreements don’t speak about this, and it’s an important situation to address. You want to ensure that you have the flexibility to monitor performance and change configurations any time you want. You also want to ensure you can run in the cloud indefinitely and grow or expand as things change.
Budget and Affordability
Every business has a budget and that is something that cannot be ignored. You might want to consider DR solutions that allow you use of a public cloud. These have lower pricing and nearly unlimited scalability. You should also determine the costs of running from the cloud if a disaster occurs. Make sure you can scale and understand the costs that will change.
By understanding these elements, you can easily make a choice on a cloud disaster recovery provider. You’ll have the tools to determine who is right for you and know what to do when and if disaster strike.