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What Is Cloud Disaster Recovery? Exploring Key Concepts and Benefits

What Is Cloud Disaster Recovery? Exploring Key Concepts and Benefits

Cloud disaster recovery is the strategy of using the cloud as a disaster-recovery site. It is often employed by businesses that are already operating in the cloud. It can, however, also be used by businesses that need a backup for traditional, on-premises, infrastructure.

Why has cloud disaster recovery become so popular?

Cloud disaster recovery has become popular for much the same reasons as the cloud has become popular. It has four main selling points.

  1. It has a low barrier to adoption.
  2. It’s affordable.
  3. It’s secure.
  4. It’s flexible and highly scalable.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.

It has a low barrier to adoption

In principle, businesses have the option to run their own disaster recovery solution. However, it generally makes far more sense for enterprises to use disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). This removes the need for cash-draining capital investment. It also spares businesses the need to recruit and keep IT staff in-demand.

Your DRaaS provider will take care of the main challenges. These include ensuring hardware continues to operate and managing security. All the business must do is manage its own use of the service and its own users’ access.

It’s affordable.

Again, assuming you already have failover sites, using a cloud disaster recovery as a service program can reduce the overall cost. of disaster recovery. This is because DRaaS providers generally benefit from economies of scale.

For example, they will buy large quantities of hardware and negotiate volume discounts. Likewise, they will generally benefit from volume discounts on software licenses and any services they use themselves. Most important, service providers will have skilled staff on hand.

Even if you were running your own cloud disaster recovery solution, you could still potentially lower costs significantly as compared to traditional disaster recovery solutions. The main reason for this is that the cloud is the perfect environment for automation.

It’s secure.

One of the major benefits of DRaaS is that the provider takes care of all externally facing security, specifically, assuring the equipment, facility, and perimeter property are safe.

It’s flexible. It’s highly scalable.

Adjusting your cloud disaster recovery solution can be as simple as a conversation with your DRaaS provider to arrange a new agreement.

Creating an effective cloud disaster recovery plan

The process for creating an effective disaster recovery plan is essentially the same regardless of whether you’re starting from scratch or changing from an on-premises solution. Here is a brief guide to the basic process.

Analyze your needs and wants

Be clear about your objectives. Determine your recovery point objective (RPO) and your recovery time objective (RTO). You may wish to set different RPOs and RTOs for various kinds of resources.

Determine what resources you need

Any cloud disaster recovery plan requires a combination of hardware, software, network, and human resources. In general, your DRaaS provider will be responsible for most, if not all, of the first three. Your provider may also provide some of the human resources you need. In general, however, your own team will need to be involved in the disaster recovery process to some extent.

Assign roles and responsibilities

When an unplanned incident occurs, who will be responsible for doing what, when, where, and how?  Ensure that there is a clear protocol for communication between different stakeholders. This should include a protocol for handing over ownership of issues. Include all of this in a detailed incident playbook.

Test your plan

Undertake controlled tests of your disaster recovery plan. If issues are identified, take steps to resolve them and then test again. Keep testing until your plan works as expected.

Review your plan

Review your needs, wants, and budget and begin the cycle again. Most times, this will be a much easier process than setting up your initial cloud disaster recovery plan.


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