Cloud-based disaster recovery can significantly reduce periods of operational downtime.

Protecting data with cloud-based disaster recovery

Stephen Perkins

Business continuity is a vital component of any company's operations. Crises can strike at any moment, taking critical systems offline and potentially erasing mission-essential information from an organization's database. Financial records, client lists and operational systems can all be lost in the blink of an eye. That is why it is imperative that businesses deploy a reliable and comprehensive data recovery solution.

Traditionally, disaster recovery options were relegated to supplemental hard drives or storage disks. However, the rise of cloud services has provided businesses with a new and effective method of backing up critical data. More cloud vendors have begun offering their clients disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions, aimed at providing a reliable form of data restoration that will not be affected by whatever disaster befalls a victimized company.

According to CSO Online, most DRaaS systems can backup a business' entire operational network within a few hours, but in some instances have been able to restore functionality within minutes. These services have proven to be extremely useful to any executives looking to significantly reduce the financial impact of operational downtime.

The source noted that in addition to providing lightning-fast recovery times, DRaaS also offers greater peace of mind by taking data backup servers offsite and away from a localized disaster. For example, a physical data recovery solution located on a company's premises could easily sustain crippling damage from an extreme weather even such as a tornado or hurricane. In addition, cloud services eliminate the need for costly hardware and maintenance, reducing operational expenses.

Avoiding calamity by spreading out resources
In a post for Business 2 Community, NaviSite vice president Chris Patterson argued that businesses utilizing DRaaS solutions should take care to consider the ramifications of disasters occurring in distant locations. For example a Boston-based organization may depend entirely on a data center in Minnesota. By concentrating DRaaS operations to a single entity, companies could essentially be simply changing the nature of the risk instead of mitigating it.

"As with any paradigm shift, the key is to re-examine architectures and workflows that were built around the old thought process and determine how to adjust them for the future," Patterson wrote. "Each component needs to be examined for dependencies and requirements independently of geographic constraints."

The best approach to DRaaS involves a carefully laid out system of redundancies, where mission-critical tasks are not dependent on the continuing functionality of a single data center. By spreading online backup services across various locations, C-suite executives can be sure that business continuity will not be disrupted by a single, localized event.

Categories: Cloud Backup, Disaster Recovery