With COVID-19 making headlines, the leading companies look closer at how they securely store data, it’s obvious that businesses are making disaster recovery and business continuity a high priority.
At one end of the scale, unplanned downtime can lead to a drop in productivity and a heavy cost. It’s calculated that, depending on the size of the organization, a one-hour down could cost a business as much as £100,000. On the other hand, there’s the chance for data loss or theft, unlocking the company to legal and financial repercussions and reputational damage.
Additionally, there’s a pressure of keeping an ‘always on’ service. To minimize the impact of breakdowns the business recovery time objectives (RTOs) are dropping from days to hours.
In a worst-case scenario, 80% of organizations without a disaster recovery in place will fail entirely in the face of a disaster.
Disasters come in a wide range of varieties. Usually, natural disasters such as floods or storms come to mind, but more frequently than not, the ones companies face are man-made, taking the form of human errors or cyber-attacks. But even tiny disasters can lead to long interruptions.
Companies should prepare for all possibilities and a reliable disaster recovery plan that aims to determine how a company responds to and mitigates against unplanned downtime in infinite ways, including data security and backup.
IT Service Management in the cloud can be an essential part of that plan. Listed below are the reasons to make the cloud part of your disaster recovery strategy.
1. Cloud is cost-effective
A disaster recovery plan requires a secondary, backup environment that isn’t used besides a disaster. Managing a second data center is expensive, and it’s challenging to explain all that unused capacity. Unlike possessing your own data center, with cloud computers you spend only on the machines and storage you use. You don’t have to pay for machines that are always on standby mode.
2. Geography doesn’t matter
Disasters often tend to be local or regional. If you have your Disaster recovery site across town, it might be exposed to the same disaster that hit your primary site. When you have your Disaster recovery facility in the cloud, you don’t have to bother about the server location. Cloud providers typically have highly redundant facilities removed from disaster-prone locations. You don’t care where the servers are established because the cloud makes everything accessible.
3. The backup process is reliable
Being able to find backups and restore data is a critical part of any disaster recovery plan, but most companies don’t test this process. A crisis is a wrong time to realize that you failed to back up a crucial server or application. Cloud providers have a reliable and tested backup and restore processes.
4. Disaster Recovery is fast and easy
Provisioning in the cloud is intended to be fast and easy, with self-service characteristics enabling new servers to be brought upon request. Bringing servers online while in crisis follows a simple, standardized process.
5. Your staff can focus on critical business needs
Building and supporting a secondary data center used only for disaster recovery purposes is a burden on your IT staff. While disaster recovery is a crucial function, it’s not crucial on a day-to-day basis. By laying off the responsibility for maintaining a disaster recovery environment to a cloud provider, your IT staff can focus on issues that affect the normal functioning of your business.
Once you’ve determined to include cloud into your disaster recovery plans, you need to decide how you’ll use it efficiently. Choices include Disaster Recovery as a Service where the cloud provider handles the recovery process, Infrastructure as a Service where the cloud provider helps the environment but you manage the recovery process and Backup as a Service, which just stores backups in the cloud.
Whichever solution you prefer, be sure to test the process at least once every year to be assured that you haven’t neglected anything. No matter how good the ITSM or cloud provider is, the disaster recovery plan can only work if it covers all your critical applications. Distinguishing those applications is one disaster recovery responsibility you can’t neglect.
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