Cloud backup is a convenient way to stay prepared.

Disaster recovery planning essential, can benefit from cloud backup

Stephen Perkins

There is an old saying that states to "expect the unexpected." In terms of disaster recovery, surprises are about all that can be counted on.

From malware to weather, there is always something that can go wrong. Preparing to face unknown challenges is key for businesses that are interested in surviving them. One of the best ways to mitigate the potential damages caused by these uncertainties is to use cloud-based backup. By insuring that information and critical systems are duplicated and protected, companies can ready themselves for what they do not even know is coming through cloud backup.

Disaster recovery should be a priority
Nothing can upset business continuity quite like an unexpected storm. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers inclement conditions across the United Kingdom and the United States have put millions of dollars in jeopardy for organizations this year. Flooding in the U.K. affected more than 1,800 homes and businesses, while recent, extreme cold across the U.S. is being blamed for millions of dollars in damages and downtime. 

According to Mark Menhennet, managing director for phone answering service Answer4u, it is the hard-to-predict nature of these events that makes preparing data recovery plans so difficult.

"When extreme weather conditions hit, like the ones seen in the U.S. over the past weeks, and the flooding in the U.K. before Christmas, businesses can really start hemorrhaging money," he said. "Vital services may be inoperable and resources may be down as people struggle to get into work – these issues can quickly build up and cost an incredible amount of money over a short period of time."

How the cloud can help
The cloud has received a lot of attention over the last year. Its benefits as a storage service have been widely publicized, and it is possible to take these advantages one step further and use them to facilitate proper data backup solutions. 

Graham Vorster, head of emerging technologies and alliances at T-Systems, said that cloud computing can facilitate cost-effective and easily-deployed disaster recovery plans. These solutions can be as simple to execute as "replicating log files onto a database instance with low processing capability, which scales up in the event of a disaster." Vorster added that while more complex solutions require greater effort, their payoff is satisfactory.

Vorster also said that, in comparison with the cloud, older data archiving solutions – such as tape-based technologies – can be insufficient and cumbersome. 

"These backups are time-consuming at best, meaning that, in the event of a disaster, companies could take weeks to get back up and running," he said, according to ITWeb. The ramifications of these kinds of downtime situations can spell ultimate doom for businesses, with the odds of survival growing increasingly slim with every passing moment. Even worse, these methods could fail completely, making full recovery impossible.

Compared to the cloud, anything else seems almost archaic. Volster said that solutions like tape-based storage cannot perform to the same standards as cloud backup systems. For businesses that want a cost-effective way to stay compliant with regulations and protected from the unexpected, an offsite backup solution is the most viable on.

Categories: Cloud Backup, Data Archiving, Data Compliance, Data Management, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery