Cloud disaster recovery is a service that allows the backup and recovery of remote machines on a cloud-based platform. It includes storing and maintaining copies of records in a cloud computing environment as a security measure.
The objective of cloud DR is to provide an organization with a way of recovering data and files and implement failover in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. Disaster recovery (DR) is a holistic approach that includes people, processes, policies, and technologies. It mainly focuses on restoring the IT systems crucial for a business to function.
Cloud disaster recovery is basically an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution that helps in backing up designated system data or files on a remote cloud server. It provides user updated recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) in case of a disaster.
A cloud DR provisions users and storage space and continuously update designated systems with client software installed on each system. Users have the power to add, edit and delete systems and storage capacity, without considering the back-end supported infrastructure.
A cloud-based disaster recovery solution enables the user to scale up the entire cloud DR solution. Normally the user is billed on a monthly basis only for the storage and client software licenses
Benefits of cloud DR for an enterprise
It goes without saying that modern business relies on information technology and data is the backbone of business and therefore needs to be protected. So when downtime or disaster occurs; there should be an immediate recovery solution. There are certain benefits of using cloud DR solution:
Cost effective: Cloud Disaster Recovery (DR) brings full enterprise capabilities of a small or medium company at affordable cost. Traditional DR solutions are proven to be costly and in addition large volume of data cannot be stored.
Scalability: Keeping disaster recovery site in the cloud provides a lot of flexibility like increasing or decreasing storage capacity as per business needs and demands which are easier than with traditional backup.
Real time replication of data: An effective DR plan instantly replicates every change made to production server’s data and applications to a recovery server in real time thereby save time and protect business from data loss.
Faster recovery: The huge difference between cloud disaster recovery and traditional recovery practices lies in RPO and RTO. Using effective cloud DR the RTO and RPO can be reduced without any increasing cost.
Security: Having a cloud-based disaster recovery plan is quite secure with the right provider. The cloud DR service providers use the latest encryption technology with authentication process which prevents unauthorized users.
Key factors affecting an effective DR Plan
There are some key factors that affect the working of an effective disaster recovery (DR) Plan. These factors should be carefully considered when deciding the services under Disaster Recovery as a Service. They are:
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO) –It is the point in time from the latest back-up till the production stopped. The smaller the RPO, the higher the cost of service. This is the maximum permissible loss of data before it starts to impact the business severely.
- Recovery Time Objective [RTO] –The time includes the time taken to find out what happened, recover data, system restore etc. till production restarts. The smaller the RTO, larger the investment needed to meet objectives. This is the maximum acceptable down time beyond which it will affect revenues and customer goodwill of the company beyond limit.
- Consistency of Performance – The implemented Disaster Recovery Service plan should restore the applications to a consistent state. There should not be any variation in performance.
Though businesses are increasingly deciding their best disaster recovery plan in cloud which are cost effective and can be tailored as per company’s need. But it is also extremely important to verify the recoverability of cloud backups before disaster strikes. The most effective way to achieve this is through comprehensive testing that simulates different disaster recovery scenarios.
written by : Simpi Nath
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