Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

Chapter 5

A Disaster Recovery (DR) plan that aligns with business strategy not only protects your company against the impacts of weather-related downtime, hardware failures, power outages, breaches and other scenarios; it can also empower transformative change as your company encounters new avenues of competition. Additionally, the rise of cloud services has made affordable and reliable DR more attainable than ever.

Gain the following benefits from cloud-based DR:

Eliminate downtime and minimize disruptions

Protect critical business data in the cloud

Manage datasets across the cloud

Satisfy compliance requirements

Improve quality assurance and testing

Developing DR Strategy for Cloud

Any good DR plan should center around conducting business process analysis, defining continuity objectives, having continuous conversations with business stakeholders, and identifying steps to minimize the effects of a disaster and maximize uptime. The same steps are also true for implementing a DR plan that encompasses cloud.

Indeed, the accessibility of cloud from anywhere with an internet connection naturally lends itself to accommodate a variety of disaster scenarios to keep an organization running while full recovery takes place. However, to confirm that your DR plan matches with and has been designed for your cloud architecture, your IT team must identify which systems, functions and applications are most critical, which are less critical, and which need the least priority during an outage. Only then can your business adequately assign Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) for each dataset.

Backup and Restore:

In traditional environments, data is typically backed up to tape and sent off-site. However, recovery time will be the longest and the inability to leverage automation in this method leads to increased burdens on the IT staff. Using cloud-based storage is ideal for backup data, as it is designed to provide durability over a given year. Transferring data to and from the cloud is typically done via the network, and it is therefore accessible from any location.

Pilot Light for Simple Recovery:

The most critical core elements of your system are configured and running in the cloud as a “pilot light.” When the time comes for recovery, you can rapidly provision a full-scale production environment around the critical core.

Warm Standby Solution:

A scaled-down version of a fully functional DR environment is always running in the cloud, which decreases recovery time since services are always running, but also saves on IT costs since the environment isn’t actively hot.

Multi-Site Solution:

By leveraging multiple sites in the cloud as well as on existing on-premise infrastructure in an active-active configuration, an organization can send all traffic to cloud servers in a disaster scenario, which can scale to handle a full production load.

These types of DR can also be delivered through a managed service model commonly referred to as Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

Ultimate Guide to DRaaS

To learn more about this service, read our Ultimate Guide to DRaaS.