The cloud-based services heading towards security – and the importance of cloud disaster recovery

What is the most crucial aspect of business to focus on today? Finance? Logistics? Developers? It’s really hard to say, but the truth is that any employee can be replaced by someone (or something) else at any time. Especially by unreasonable management of IT infrastructure as far as protecting data is concerned.

Nowadays, ever more companies rely heavily on IT and new solutions. Unfortunately, while such an approach does have many advantages, it’s a double-edged sword. Let me show you a simple example: if an organization’s IT infrastructure goes down and there’s practically nobody capable of fixing it, the system won’t keep running itself. Business shuts down, and you lose data, time, money and reputation. That is why it is vital to have managed IT security services in place. If you also implement a disaster recovery and business continuity strategy, that’s even better for your organization and its security.

For many businesses, ensuring that these solutions are in place continues to be not only the most critical process, but also the most challenging. Enterprises with large IT infrastructure quite often struggle to back up their data and implement complex database redundancy systems. In addition, cloud-based services such as backup and disaster recovery services have recently become more complex. This has created a new set of problems, but on the other hand it does create new opportunities for businesses to rethink traditional IT practices.

In short, the cloud has drastically changed the way companies approach business continuity and disaster recovery. At the same time, it has created an opportunity for an organization’s approach to IT as a whole to evolve and improve. Yet many IT organizations aren't prepared to fully invest in cloud strategies. As an entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself how you can effectively integrate cloud architecture into on-premises infrastructure, and whether cloud backup and DR are better for you than legacy services?

How can the cloud play different roles in disaster recovery?

The goal of cloud disaster recovery is to provide an organization with a means of recovering data in the unfortunate event of hardware or software failure. Such a catastrophe could be more likely than you would expect in the case of an inappropriately configured and managed system. Disaster recovery requires a response that is not only agile but also fast. The cloud can play a powerful role in your disaster recovery strategy, because it is a reliable location for storing the most up to date copy of your company’s files.

Cloud disaster recovery provides many benefits compared to traditional architecture. Value is added by the ability of cloud-based solutions to store data somewhere remote, separated from the original information, and by recovery speeds greater than those available via traditional tape. Typically, cloud providers charge for storage in a pay per use model, based solely on the used capacity, bandwidth or the site of the server.

The cloud also allows businesses to recover all critical IT systems and data quickly, without incurring the expense of a second physical data center, which most small and medium-sized companies simply can’t afford. Moreover, implementing a disaster recovery strategy in the cloud can actually bring extra savings. It reduces the need for data center space, IT infrastructure and resources, which is in fact why disaster recovery is considered the most important business use case for the cloud.

It’s worth remembering that cloud-based disaster recovery isn't the perfect solution for every business. All advantages and disadvantages need to be clearly understood before implementation. Security is definitely a major concern in this respect and, as clouds can only be accessed via the Internet, bandwidth requirements also need to be adjusted.

Use best practices for cloud-based backup

Implementing a solution in the service model, based on your priorities for backup, can help strengthen your organization's data protection strategy without increasing IT staff workload or raising the budget significantly. Using the cloud in this way means renting the capacity to store the daily backup of your data for as long as you need. Additionally, cloud backups often include the software and hardware necessary to protect an organization's data, including applications for Exchange and SQL Server. One other thing I should mention is that cloud data backup services are mostly used for non-critical data. Traditional backup is a better option for enterprises with large IT infrastructure and critical data that indisputably require a short recovery time, since there are physical limits to how much data can be moved in a given amount of time over a network.

The cloud ensures the business continuity

Today, technology plays a critical role in every organization. Businesses need a complex strategy for continuity and disaster recovery, and the former can play a big part in the decision to adopt cloud services. For today’s data-intensive enterprises, the cloud-based business continuity approach can be crucial in reducing the risk of system outage and data loss from IT disruptions, while also helping you to take your strategy to the next level. After all, you don’t want your business continuity plans to be lost in a disaster. Therefore, the cloud is the perfect choice for enterprises that have already implemented a business continuity strategy.

The cloud gives companies data backup, server failover, and the ability to have an additional center far from the primary location for disaster recovery use. An effective backup and disaster recovery strategy ensures that data are always available, reduces storage costs, protects you against financial loss, preserves operational efficiency and increases staff productivity. You will need to choose the solution that fits your business best, taking into account your company’s specific requirements, the critical and value level of your data, financial impacts and recovery objectives.

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