Cloud-Based DR, It’s Only As Good As You Can Use It
For years cloud computing has been a popular buzzword for a wide variety of applications. Unfortunately, for both better and worse, the cloud seems to be gathering more than its fair share of hype, which causes a lot of the benefits it offers to be overshadowed.
The good news in all of this is that when it comes to DR, cloud services are very well suited for the purpose. In fact, cloud services can be easily leveraged to provide for companies that might be strapped for IT services since the usage based costs is, for the most part, parked and idling most of the time.
In a very real sense, having cloud-based services eliminates the need for most of the IT infrastructure that many companies need in order to support their systems. This alone allows smaller companies to enjoy many of the IT support benefits that would ordinarily be accessed by bigger organizations. In fact, with the space that cloud-based systems allow, adequate planning can make room for space that was previously unheard of.
Factors to Consider
It is important to note, however, that even with the promise DR services in a cloud-based environment might hold, without a proper understanding and allowances, DR still won’t live up to its hype. Security, for example, often leads this list of concerns.
There are other factors related to this issue:
- Is data storage and transfer secured in the cloud?
- How are those persons who are granted access authenticated?
- What other security standards must the cloud provider provide?
Another factor related to cloud based DR services that must be considered is bandwidth, which might provide enough space for everyday access, but which could be woefully inadequate when disaster strikes and more is expected of it.
When this factor is considered, those responsible for these services should consider the following questions:
- In terms of bandwidth and network capacity, do I have the resources that my users will need?
- If users expect to restore operations from a cloud-based resource, do they have the infrastructure to do the job and how long will it take?
- Simply stated, if you do plan to have backups in a cloud-based system, you should also have adequate plans in place to use them. After all, just because they are there and even ready for use, doesn’t mean that anybody can access them. Further, does everyone who could access the cloud in a situation such as this have the authority to do so?
Another important consideration for any cloud storage services is the reliability of the company providing these services. Further, do have support for the cloud on my DR site? Having a reliable cloud storage provider or managed service provider is essential when it comes to delivering on DR–or any other–cloud services.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no generally accepted blueprint for DR in a cloud. The SOP for DR in a cloud is as individual as the company it serves, not to mention the services it must provide to its users. As a result, if a company expects to gain full advantage from a DR experience, it must have adequate plans in place to implement it if and when the time comes.
Katrina is a leader in the IT industry custom solution and innovative ideas as a product specialist for rack solutions.