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The Changing Face of Disaster Recovery and Cloud Computing

· Cloud Zone

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Disaster can strike at any time. It may happen as a cyber attack, targeting important business systems and networks, or it may be a large scale power outage affecting millions of people and companies. There are many ways a company may experience a shutdown of operations. Recent research indicates that the most common cause for company downtime is uninterruptible power supply battery failure, which was experienced by 55 percent of businesses. The second most common cause is human error, followed by exceeding UPS capacity, weather-related events, and equipment failure. In whatever form it takes, businesses faced with significant downtime will likely have problems trying to recover. Disasters can sideline businesses, which makes it all the more imperative for companies to get back on their feet. Disaster recovery is the way to do so, and more and more businesses are turning to the cloud to make it happen.

Creating backups to recover from potential disasters is nothing new. Organizations have been employing this strategy for many years now, but as companies have gone high-tech, creating effective backups has gradually grown costly and time consuming. At the same time, cloud computing and cloud storage have grown in popularity, providing high-tech solutions for multiple services. Disaster recovery is one such service, offering numerous advantages when coupled with cloud computing. It’s these advantages that are essentially changing how disaster recovery is utilized by the business world at large and each company individually.

One of the major advantages to using the cloud for disaster recovery is the faster recovery times it enables. Before cloud computing, companies would have to save important backup data to tapes and physically store them in a safe location. With the cloud, this is no longer necessary since all critical applications, operating systems, software, and other data can be backed up and stored in a separate data center. Backing up these resources only requires a few minutes. While businesses could quickly back up systems before the cloud, this usually cost a lot more and wasn’t always dependable. Now, the short backup times allow companies of all sizes to be back in operation smoothly, efficiently, and quickly. This is especially important since research shows 93% of businesses that see their data center operations shut down for ten or more days will go bankrupt within a year.

Disaster recovery on the cloud is also far more cost effective than previous methods. Businesses no longer need to invest in equipment dedicated solely to backing up valuable systems. Instead, the bulk of the operations for disaster recovery are taken care of by the cloud provider the business chooses. With so many cloud vendors out there, companies have a lot of options to choose from, but many offer features and services specifically dedicated to disaster recovery. With the provider mainly focused on providing a quality service, companies won’t have to expend as much time, effort, and money to make sure disaster recovery will be effective in case something unfortunate happens.

Another big advantage for businesses using disaster recovery on the cloud involves increased flexibility. Normally, making a backup for a company means saving only the most important and critical assets a business would need to return to operation quickly and regain business continuity. What a company determines to be vital may change year to year or even month to month as new demands are constantly being faced. In the case of cloud computing, changing up how systems and assets are saved is easy and quick. The cloud also enables businesses to scale up or down depending on changing conditions. All of this is made possible in part because disaster recovery on the cloud is also much easier to manage than previous strategies. Many cloud services, including disaster recovery, can be automated, so software can perform the most complex tasks, such as backing up those resources and data systems determined critical to the enterprise. The automated process also adds to the lower recovery times of the cloud, as discussed above.

With so much important information stored on hard drives and other equipment, disaster recovery has become a vital part of any business. Extended downtime can cripple a company, and disasters are never easy to predict. These two factors make effective disaster recovery a necessity if businesses hope to compete and bounce back when--not if--disaster strikes. The right strategy can make all the difference, and it looks increasingly like cloud computing is the best method for disaster recovery. A quick look at the benefits of disaster recovery with the cloud should be enough to convince companies of the viability of this option.

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