Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

Despite the benefits of moving data to the cloud, companies need to have a disaster recovery as a service plan to ensure they can recover their information in the event of an outage. Creating protocols and options to recover data reduces downtime, improves user satisfaction and protects the company from fines and lawsuits.

Previously, a business would store its data on a local server or alternative site to ensure availability during a disaster. However, this method adds costs to the infrastructure and may not be protected against local natural disasters. Luckily, cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) can help to eliminate these issues and provide an affordable, easy-to-manage option for businesses to restore data quickly.

The first step in a disaster recovery process is to identify the most critical applications, and the corresponding SLAs and control measures. Once this is complete, a business can then determine its RPO and RTO requirements. RPO is the maximum amount of time a company can tolerate data loss from a system, and RTO is the total time it takes for a service to be restored following a disruption.

Cloud DR helps to minimize downtime and prevent data loss by replicating key workloads on a failover environment that can be restored in the event of a disaster. It also enables organizations to achieve RPO and RTO goals while minimizing cost. The main advantage of this approach is that it is more flexible than traditional disaster recovery options, such as storing backups on a separate physical site or deploying a secondary data center.

There are several different approaches to disaster recovery in the cloud, each with its own pros and cons. The most basic configuration is the backup and restore option, where a periodic copy of an application is maintained in the cloud. If a disaster occurs, the application is restored on the loud infrastructure and operations are returned to normal. This is the least expensive option, but it has the highest risk for data loss and downtime.

Other configurations include the warm standby and multi-site deployment methods. The former involves storing backups in a second location that can be brought online in the event of a disaster, while the latter is more sophisticated and requires a complete replication of an organization’s infrastructure across multiple locations.

Regardless of the chosen DR solution, an organization should test and update it on a regular basis to ensure that employees know what to do in the event of a disaster. This helps to reduce downtime, ensure that automated processes are working correctly and detect gaps in the disaster recovery plan. Additionally, it is important to review the budget for an annual disaster recovery plan to make sure it is sustainable and that resources are allocated to it appropriately. Finally, organizations can opt for a managed DRaaS model whereby a third party handles all aspects of disaster recovery, reducing the overall management burden. This is ideal for businesses that do not have the expertise or resources to manage on-premises DR solutions.

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