Disasters can occur any time, and usually that impacts the delivery of software applications to customers and business continuity as well. Disasters can happen due to various reasons such as outages in network, bug in your code, natural disasters etc. That is why having a disaster recovery (DR) plan is very critical to an organization’s success.
Traditional DR methods are not only time consuming but are also extremely expensive. Let’s take a look at the old-school way of doing disaster recovery and how using cloud vendors such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP) can help in resolving the challenges associated with the traditional way:
How DR used to be done
With the traditional approach of doing Disaster Recovery planning, there used to be a whole lot of duplication of data and infrastructure. So that if something goes down at your primary site, you can quickly cut over your production to the duplicated secondary site to get critical applications up and running.
The duplicated data center, comes with a lot of duplicated work. This may include:
- Having extra facilities and real estate to house the secondary data center.
- Having administration and security personnel for these facilities.
- Support staff for maintaining the infrastructure
- Network infrastructure such as switches, routers, firewalls, etc.
- Enough server capacity to store all the duplicated data
That’s a lot of stuff to manage and money to be spent on something that is going to be used only when your primary site goes down. Actually, you hope is that the backup data center never gets used at all. Isn’t all of the above waste of resources and effort?
Benefits of using Google Cloud Platform for DR
Using the public cloud such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers a lot of advantages over the traditional disaster recovery approach. Here’s a look at some of these benefits:
1. It saves you time and money: Cloud platforms such as GCP help you save on a lot of costs, time and effort that you would have otherwise used for building your duplicated data center. All of this goes away. GCP will only charge you for the services being used only for disaster recovery operations. So, instead of incurring all of the above costs for building and maintaining a duplicate data center, you will only pay a fraction of these costs while backing up your applications in the cloud. Vendors such as Actifio, that integrate very well with the Google Cloud Platform, can help you reap the benefits of the cloud by moving your data seamlessly and spinning up instances in GCP only when you need them for a DR drill.
The graph below shows that using Google Cloud instead of an on-prem data center for Disaster Recovery can save you nearly ~68% over 5 years
2. You have a lot more options for where to backup your critical data: With cloud platforms such as Google Cloud Platform, you have the option to keep your secondary data center at the other side of the planet and still get the same performance as you would get out of your traditional data center located just a few miles from your primary data center. Imagine being caught in a terrible hurricane that could potentially sweep away both your data centers, if they were located in the same geographical region. You can completely avoid this situation by having the cloud as your secondary DR target.
3. Easy to implement with high reliability: It is extremely easy to set up a secondary data center in the cloud and you don’t have to purchase and deploy backup servers, disks and drives. Instead, you can spin up Google Cloud Compute instances on demand in Google Cloud on demand along with on demand storage provisioning in Google persistent disks or Coldline/Nearline Object Storage. Also, Google Cloud’s 11 9’s of durability ensures that all the systems are highly reliable and resilient.
4. Scalable: With cloud platforms such as Google Cloud, it is extremely easy to scale up to meet the demand as needed. In a traditional DR approach, you always had to make sure that the duplicate data center always has enough server capacity to meet the demand. If the capacity is not sufficient, the performance remains slow and sluggish. With Google Cloud, scaling capacity is quick, efficient and offers a great experience for your customers looking to do Disaster Recovery.
Free 1-page TCO comparison: on-prem vs cloud disaster recovery