WHY BUSINESSES PREFER DISASTER RECOVERY ON THE CLOUD
Most businesses today depend on an uninterrupted flow of data. They operate in a 24/7 live operations environment with teams requiring regular or constant access from remote locations. The business must go on, no matter what. However, outages due to human-made or natural disasters are not uncommon. The resulting downtimes can not only cause operational failures but can also be a nightmare for your IT team. Such downtimes often lead to security breaches, software errors, as well as hardware failures, which in turn can further escalate operational and reputational costs.
This is where an organization’s disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) planning come into play. However, it is not possible for every organization to implement traditionally available, cost-prohibitive commercial solutions. Moreover, organizations that choose to maintain in-house DR solutions often have to solve numerous operational challenges in addition to meeting recurring costs of energy bills. Eventually, meeting RTO (recovery time objective) and RPO (recovery point objective) becomes a big challenge.
Due to complexities in disaster recovery, many organizations fail to meet their DR goals. According to anIDC estimate, around 50% of existing organizations have inadequate disaster recovery plans. This is where DR on cloud comes to the rescue. CIOs and IT practitioners in businesses of every size view cloud-based disaster recovery strategy as a viable DR/BC option as it delivers better resilience against disasters.
FIVE KEY BENEFITS OF DR ON CLOUD
- Reduced Costs
By using the cloud for disaster recovery, you can save capital expenditure on setting up a duplicate datacenter. Cloud service providers cover all licensing, power, and space requirements for raising this infrastructure.
- Quicker Recovery
You can encapsulate your server, OS, applications, patches, and data into a virtual server. This virtual server acts as a backup on the cloud and ensures failover when a disaster strikes. The primary advantage of virtualization is that being hardware independent, it offers quicker recovery times over traditional disaster recovery approaches.
- Improved Manageability
You can use a cloud-based self-service portal that provides resource orchestration and automation tools for streamlining the recovery process. WithDRaaS(disaster recovery as a service), you can spin up a warm or hot DR site, thereby replicating your production environment. You can also scale up and down your infrastructure as per the workload requirement.
With DR on Cloud, you can automate failback and failovers in case of a disaster. It is the automation of disaster recovery that makes it simpler than traditional methods, which involve complex deployment, testing, and recovery processes. Automation further increases reliability and predictability of your DR setup.
- Frequent Testing
Testing in traditional DR/BC solutions is complicated, time-consuming, and costly. It is a rigorous exercise for IT administrators who have to retrieve, restore, and reconfigure entire setups. This can lead to oversights since rarely do organizations perform tests for a full failover scenario. Cloud-based disaster recovery makes testing simple, faster, and less disruptive to the production environment and business operations. As mentioned above, automation can also help you conduct frequent testing.
How to Implement Disaster Recovery on Cloud
There is no shortage of cloud service providers offering distinct DR services and solutions. It is crucial for you to determine your baseline DR requirements, and build a cloud DR strategy before you start evaluating these solutions.
- Risk Assessment
You need to assess your exposure to potential threats and natural disasters. You can evaluate whether your business operates in a region prone to any particular disaster (flood, earthquake, etc.). Also, consider a lack of proper electricity supply and the resulting hardware failures as potential disrupters. This will allow you to assess the costs of a disaster. You can add regulatory liabilities for a balanced assessment. This exercise will help you identify critical systems and workloads that you would want to recover with high priority
- Consider Your Recovery Goals
After assessing which assets need immediate attention and factoring in your RTO and RPO, you can create an effective cloud DR strategy. There is no one size fits all approach. For instance, if you need to maintain historical compliance-related data, perhaps high-speed recovery is not a primary concern, and you may choose a cloud-based backup and restore DR plan. On the other hand, if it’s a database for your regular services, you cannot afford a long interruption. You would need a quick recovery and full replication in the cloud is the best option.
- Configure Machine Images Based on Your RTO
In the end, it all comes down to how fast you need a recovery when hit by a disaster. You need to achieve a balance between the amount of image pre-configuration (which is proportional to deployment speed) and the costs of maintaining the image. With a minimal configuration, your instances will take more time to spin up, as they need to download and install dependencies. Also, with a high pre-configuration, you need to update the image on a frequent basis. As a general rule, when the RTO is small, you should always go for a higher pre-configuration.
- Implement Security Best Practices and Control Measures
Security breaches have become a constant threat to business continuity. This means you need to adopt a proactive approach to mitigate IT security related disasters. Modern security solutions provide improved visibility across your on-premise infrastructure. You can receive automated alerts for any suspicious user activity and traffic flows. For instance, your system can relay alerts that trigger whenever it encounters a data-destructive flow. Also, implement the same security controls on your recovery plan as you apply to your production environment.
- Implement a Testing Strategy
As the final piece in your cloud-based disaster recovery planning, you should evaluate your testing process. Regular testing will help you discover challenges and issues with your cloud-based DR setup. Accordingly, you can make a course correction in time. You can explore if your cloud service provider offers an integrated portal for provisioning of virtual instances and automation of tests. When you design these tests, make sure that you have created monitoring policies that trigger alerts to enable swift recovery.
THE WAY FORWARD
Today most organizations operate in a hybrid, multi-cloud setup. Managing online applications, virtual machines, and hardware spread across this setup along with colocation sites is a full-time task in itself. Naturally, managing end-to-end disaster recovery in this complex environment is a big challenge for organizations facing resource constraints. For this reason, you should look forward to fully managed disaster recovery solutions. This is where DRaaS makes a better value proposition as it offers higher agility and ability to meet your stringent RTO/RPO requirements.
Nxtra Data offers multi-cloud managed services for your end-to-end cloud lifecycle management, including backup services, DR solutions, ERP deployments, big data solutions and more. Our consulting exercise identifies suitable workload for the right type of cloud delivery be it public, private or hybrid cloud. We also help you migrate your applications to desired cloud instance followed by 24X7 technical support.
For consultation and successful transition into the world of cloud and data centres, contact us at Nxtra Data.
Call: 1800 102 9635 | Visit: http://www.nxtradata.com
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