Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery a Good Strategy for Natural Disaster Preparedness

We are enjoying the warmer days of spring, especially considering the harsh winter conditions we experienced this year, followed by flooding for many in the Midwest and not to mention the fires out west and hurricanes to our south! The spring flowers and sunshine are certainly a sight for sore eyes, but we must be on guard and prepared for the severe weather that spring can bring.

Now is a good time to think about your company’s disaster recovery plan for your information technology (IT). Many companies are turning to the cloud to handle their disaster recovery needs. Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a backup and restore strategy that involves storing and maintaining copies of electronic records in a cloud computing environment as a security measure. The goal of cloud DR is to provide an organization with a way to recover data and/or implement failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe.

There are several advantages to this cloud DR strategy including:

  • Lower cost – the usage based cost of cloud services makes it an appealing option for smaller companies because it reduces the need for IT infrastructure and resources in-house.
  • Faster recovery time – with cloud DR, you can cut your recovery time from days to hours thanks to virtualization. Your virtual server can be copied or backed up to an offsite data center very quickly in the event of a disaster.
  • Scalability – you can scale your storage, making a cloud DR site a flexible environment rather than committing to a specific amount of storage eliminating the need to keep track of whether you are meeting or exceeding those requirements.

However, when thinking about a cloud DR strategy, there are some things to make sure you have thought about before heading in this direction:

  • Have a plan – triage is key whether you are working with a traditional or cloud DR. There are several cloud DR options, so once you know what your specific applications and recovery time objectives are, you can select the right option for your organization. One that is becoming more common is disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS, which is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe.
  • Testing – make sure you choose a provider who offers testing capabilities. A reputable cloud DR service allows you to test your disaster recovery plan. A cloud DR allows for more consistent testing of the plan because the virtual environment is less risky and intrusive than testing in a traditional environment. This consistent testing is key to being able to confidently and reliably recover from a disaster.
  • Make sure you agree on how a disaster is defined – sounds simple, but make sure you have things well documented in your service level agreement (SLA). Think about things like: what the rules are for declaring a disaster, how users will access internal applications and what percentage of customers can the service provider support concurrently during a regional natural disaster, like flooding or a tornado.

At BerganKDV, our technology team works with clients at all stages of disaster recovery planning, from writing the initial plan to helping test the plan on a scheduled basis. If you are ready to build/analyze your current disaster preparedness, contact us!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Reid Graham, Kansas City Sales Leader

Reid is the Sales Leader in the Kansas City metro market. He is responsible for growing the client base in the Kansas City metro area by building relationships with potential clients and working with them to help solve pain points they are experiencing in their business operations.

Reid has more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and consultative solution sales. His specialty areas include tax, audit and accounting; technology including NetSuite ERP/CRM; payroll and human capital management; planning and consulting and wealth management.

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