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Public Cloud Appealing to Those Needing Disaster Recovery

May 9th, 2014 by - 1,388 views

These days, businesses are aggregating an incredible amount of data from a lot of different silos. Whether they’re using the information to create enhanced marketing campaigns, conduct research for product development, or look for a competitive edge in the market, these companies are taking whatever steps are necessary to protect that data. Between data breaches and natural occurrences like severe weather that can cause companies to lose their data, many are moving their disaster recovery initiatives to cloud servers.

A broken disk.

A broken disk.

A practical solution
One of the most popular deployment options, public cloud models offer companies the opportunity to back up their data in encrypted, secure environments that can be accessed whenever it’s convenient. However, businesses are looking to take this capability to the next level. Redmond Channel Partner referenced a study sponsored by Microsoft titled “Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery Meets Next-Generation Database Demands,” which was conducted between December 2013 and February 2014 by Forrester Consulting.

The research firm polled 209 organizations based in Asia, Europe, and North America, with 62 percent of survey participants consisting of large-scale enterprise IT managers. Many of the businesses reported having mission-critical databases larger than 10 terabytes. Respondents claimed that some of the top reasons for using public cloud computing models for backups included saving money on storage (61 percent) and reducing administration expenses (50 percent).

Forrester noted that a fair number of enterprises often omit encrypting their database backups due to the complexity involved and the possibility of data corruption. A number of participants also acknowledged they neglect to conduct tests regarding their disaster recovery capabilities.

The available opportunities
Despite these drawbacks, Forrester’s study showed that cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (DR) models have matured over the past 4 years. In addition, there’s the option of using a hybrid approach that involves combining on-premise DR solutions with public cloud storage. For example, an enterprise could keep all its data in in-house databases and orchestrate a system that would either duplicate or transfer all data into a cloud storage environment in the event of a problem.

However, Talkin’ Cloud noted that certain cloud providers are beginning to answer this demand by developing customizable DR systems. One particular solution is coupled with a set of applications that make it easier for those using the program to orchestrate backup and DR initiatives on a regular basis. Some of the features include:

  • Self-service DR protection for virtual machines
  • Recovery point objectives ranging from 15 minutes to 24 hours and restoration time targets of 4 hours or less
  • Scalable, flexible cloud computing and storage capacity
  • Automated failover testing and planned data migration
  • Support for offline data “seeding”

This option delivers a cost-effective DR and backup strategy that allows businesses to standardize processes according to their specific practices. Essentially, it enables them to gain the cost benefits associated with public cloud deployments, while reducing the cost of rearranging, transferring, and managing data. At the same time, it enables enterprises to protect mission-critical applications — such as data analytics or customer relationship management software — from becoming lost in the event of a disaster.

Ensuring connection with consumers
An effective DR and backup strategy enables a company to continue to conduct customer transactions, even in the event of a data breach or other disaster that could have crippled a business in the past. And although this integrated strategy is still relatively new to cloud Web hosting, organizations that offer such solutions are looking to further develop the technology. The day may not be too far away when enterprises migrate en masse to public cloud vendors to receive optimal DR.

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