As more and more business owners rely on the cloud environment to run their operations, they are exploring other ways cloud services can help them reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies. In this exploration, many companies are turning to the cloud to handle their information technology (IT) 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.