Using the Cloud as hosting system for moving applications and data may be a tactical approach but is not strategic. Today we can take advantage of more options, exploiting the full potential of Cloud.
Cloud for storage isn’t just a practical backup system. Cloud services can be used for easily deploying new applications or a new Disaster Recovery environment.
Application Life Cycle Management
When you activate a new application you need to buy new servers and storage. Often you buy the hardware with the only purpose of running the application and archive data afterwards. This kind of approach may have a problem though: it could take months or years to justify the investment in hardware and licensing.
The use of Cloud for starting the application development is an alternative solution that takes advantage of your provider’s computing power and storage. Once the application becomes mature it will be possible to move it in data center, postponing the purchase of servers and storage and getting the same infrastructure for a lower price. You will be wiser in designing the right infrastructure because you will know the next business developments of the application.
This approach makes possible to exploit the Cloud for migrating legacy applications that will be replaced by new ones. Usually, in this situations, users need to access the old data stored in the legacy application and the Cloud is the best site to credit.
While most people associate disaster recovery with earthquakes or tornados, the reality is that 71% of disasters have more banal causes: pulling the wrong cable, systematic or social engineering intrusions, general system failures… When these events occur, the data center can be down for several days. This is something we really don’t wish to happen, considering that “24% of organizations that suffer an outage of 24 hours or more close within two years, and 68% of organizations down for a week or more close within one year”.
So, how can you set up your Disaster Recovery plan?
You can locate your DR infrastructure within your existing data center. As a rule, this solution may be unwise because whatever factors affect your IT system are likely to affect the DR system as well.
Otherwise you can build your own mirror site. This method gives you complete control over the technology but can get expensive. It means your organization is responsible for maintaining the hardware, software and infrastructure up to date. Also, the site must be within a reasonable driving distance for spinning it up when a disaster is declared even though best practices want a DR site to be be located in an area that is climatologically different from the primary site.
The recommended third option is to purchase DR as a Service (DRaaS).
Many Cloud providers, once specialized in backup services, are now evolving and selling DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service).
The costs for this approach are much lower than a mirror site. You only pay for capacity as needed, and Disaster Recovery becomes an operating expense instead of a capital expense. The cloud services provider manages all maintenance, upgrades and security, freeing up your internal staff to stay focused on high-value activities. The cloud provider’s experts are already at the DR site so your staff doesn’t have to travel to spin the system up. Moreover, if you want to be sure that when a disaster strikes your DR plan works, you need to run tests on a regular basis. With DRaaS, much of the testing process is held by the service provider partner.
Having a well designed Disaster Recovery plan is very important, not an option anymore and luckily nowadays technology progress makes it more accessible and affordable to organizations of all sizes.
Cristina is a marketing and technology addicted, always wondering - what’s next - foodie, books and music lover, She lived in Russia, UK, Portugal and Italy, taking with her all the best of each experience.
Marco is a Technology Leader in FAR. He is very skilled in Cloud and Data Center, always curious about latest technology trends. Like vampires, by night he transforms and turn into an Awesome Basketball Coach.. but please, keep the secret!