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What to check when looking at cloud disaster recovery solutions

What to check when looking at cloud disaster recovery solutions


Cloud disaster recovery solutions offer many advantages, including speed, simplicity, and security.

The robustness of your cloud disaster recovery process will depend on the quality of your solution. Here is a quick guide with considerations when you are selecting a cloud disaster recovery solution.

Recovery time

Disaster recovery plans are generally built around two key objectives: Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). RPO, is the amount of time between backups, is dependent on the capacity of your backup system. RTO, the amount of time it takes to get up and running again after a disaster, is dependent on capabilities of your cloud disaster recovery solution.

It is common for cloud disaster recovery solutions to support different RTOs to support several types of resources.

Ideally, you should find a cloud disaster recovery solution that comfortably supports what you want now. This should give you some room to maneuver if you need to adjust your RTO later.

Availability

Two important questions: First, what is the cloud disaster recovery solution’s guaranteed uptime? Second, what is the support response time?

Companies may advertise extended support hours. It will be important to understand what resources are available during the extended hours as well as any associated costs. For instance, some provider companies will have only frontline support available during extended hours, while using higher level support during those hours incurs a fee.

Security

This is non-negotiable. At a minimum, you want your cloud disaster recovery solution to support multiple data centers in multiple locations for appropriate redundancy, close enough for access but far enough to protect data, especially resulting from natural disasters.

These data centers should all be run to the very highest standards of security. Therefore, check the provider’s security update track record.

Support for robust access controls

This is a subset of data security. In the context of cloud disaster recovery solutions, however, it deserves to be split out into its own category. With cloud disaster recovery solutions, the vendor takes responsibility for ensuring security against external threats. The client manages internal access controls using tools provided by the vendor.

You, therefore, need to check what access-control tools will be made available to you and ensure that you are comfortable using them. You need to check the process for generating reports on access and usage.

For example, are there default reports?  If so, what are they?  Can you create your own customized reports?  If so, how do you go about it?  If you want to export reports, how long does it (usually) take?

Reporting capabilities

Essentially the same applies to reporting in general. Check your vendor’s process for reporting on the status of their service. For example, are you expected to check a status page for updates, or will they be pushed to you (or both)?  If updates will be pushed to you, how will that happen? For example, do you have to identify a single point of contact, or can you have multiple contacts?

In either case, what specific method will your vendor use to reach you?  This is usually email. If so, will they use their standard domain or another one?  If they use another one, you may need to safelist it.

Flexibility

Your business is going to change over time. Change can happen both unexpectedly and quickly. What scope does a cloud disaster recovery solution have to absorb those changes? When selecting a partner, ensure that your partnership includes yearly DRaaS assessments to keep up with changes within your business.

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