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Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Benefits

Cloud for disaster recovery

Why is cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) such a hot topic with IT leaders today?  The market for leveraging cloud has been growing exponentially over the past decade.  Businesses have been utilizing AWS, Azure, Google and others for a variety of projects, and in the disaster recovery space, cloud has picked up steam. Let’s look at a few reasons why cloud DR is in high demand and how businesses can benefit in utilizing non-traditional DR methods.

Budget busters!

DR solutions have historically cost companies exorbitant amounts of money.  Storage array-based synchronous (or even asynchronous) replication solutions cost millions of dollars.  Not to mention the additional costs and operations needed to keep application servers and networking gear up to date and ready to failover.  All this hardware, software and upkeep requires tremendous amounts of money and humans to make sure it’s working in the event of a disaster.  For larger enterprises, complex plans lead to higher expenses, especially with solutions for mission critical applications that require no downtime. These capital expenditures weigh heavily upon IT budgets and the industry is ripe for a cost effective, efficient, reliable change in disaster recovery solutions.  Leveraging the cloud offers an operational cost vs a capital project cost structure which allows businesses a pay-as-you-go and consume structure making costs more manageable and predictable.  Today, though costs are still out of control and businesses are looking for ways to lower cloud operation costs, the cost predictability of hosting DR data in the cloud becomes easier to swallow.

What are my options?

Cloud offers businesses both large and small a wide spectrum of disaster recovery options. Consider this: When shopping for a new vehicle, our first step is to define our buying criteria.  What is the right vehicle for my needs and then, once that decision has been made, what options should the vehicle come outfitted with? Similarly, the cloud gives businesses the opportunity to select options in building a cloud DR model.  It offers options to put various data sets and apps in different clouds / tiers so business leaders can make decisions on how to throttle their response abilities in the case of a disaster; as well as plan better for strategically storing and locating certain data sets.  Cloud tiering of data, usually focused by application importance, helps businesses take more control of their planning and allows for failover in or across different regions to solve for single points of failure.  The options are endless!  A team can have 4 apps in Google Cloud, for example, and 12 more in AWS, with an additional 2 in Azure, all based on SLAs, costs, and RTO/RPO thresholds.  Over a decade ago, these types of options for DR would have come with a hefty price tag and limited to companies within the Fortune 500 only.  Cloud economics, scalability and functionality has changed this, making even some of the more sophisticated cloud solutions available to small and medium businesses.  Having options in cloud DR gives the customer the flexibility to make better decisions and ultimately the opportunity to become a happier customer.

Try, try again.

Testing disaster recovery plans and live failover in traditional environments involved a complex process that kept the team busy, wasn’t easy to execute, and cost money.  I remember having conversations with my customers early in my career and they would test their DR strategy once a year simply because it was a hassle and was a minimum requirement.  Today, cloud-based DR offers continuous testing opportunities with one-click orchestration that provides immediate feedback, results and analytics, giving IT teams the peace of mind that they can confidently recover in the case of a disaster without taking on relatively expensive or complex solutions to do so. 

Cloud based disaster recovery fixes a lot of challenges and headaches that traditional DR plans haven’t been able to solve.  Challenges with high infrastructure and networking costs, lack of choices and difficult / resource intensive testing are just some of the major issues that cloud disaster recovery can help overcome.  What other issues do you see cloud DR helping with?

Learn some of the current external drivers forcing cloud DR to executive level discussions.

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