Cloud Based Disaster Recovery is a relatively new concept in the IT field. It has many advantages and since the field is getting crowded with many players, competition has driven down prices. Cloud based disaster recovery has many advantages over the old model of off-site production sites, back-up tapes etc.
Some of the advantages of having a Cloud Based Disaster Recovery are:
The prices offered by cloud service providers have dropped considerably and the current price structure makes it attractive for even small and medium businesses. The advent of virtual servers means that costly off-site production centers are fast becoming a thing of the past. Business data can be replicated in the cloud and depending on business needs; it can be replicated in real-time too. This has led to the DR overhead coming down, but at the same time, the speed of data back-up and restoration has increased manifold. It is a win-win situation for a business using the Cloud Based Disaster Recovery model for its DR needs.
DR process has been simplified
Cloud service providers offer disaster recovery services known popularly as DRaaS. This has simplified DR procedures for IT Managers, since it has eliminated the expenses associated with keeping abreast of the best DR practices in the industry. This headache has been outsourced and the overall cost is much less.
Improvement in DR efficiency
Using Cloud Based Disaster Recovery, IT Managers have drastically reduced Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective times. This is a big business plus. In addition, it is easy even if a business has multiple production centers since data replication is in the cloud. Also in the event of a disaster and complete loss of the production site, the cloud services offer virtual desktops which can be accessed so that production can be restarted as per the RTO and RPO metrics.
Since virtual servers do not depend on hardware, applications, operating systems, patches, data etc. can be transferred between production centers without the necessity of having to reload each component of the server. DR efficiency takes a quantum leap when Cloud Based Disaster Recovery is used.
Another big advantage of Cloud Based Disaster Recovery is that the business needs only pay for the services it uses. This means it can pick and choose depending on its business requirements and need not pay for unnecessary items. If additional services are required it can be scaled up relatively quickly.
The savings on DR costs has enabled organizations to invest in areas of the business which generate revenue rather than on DR, which is essential but revenue consuming – not generating. The flexibility of picking and choosing what services are needed coupled with cost savings is very attractive.
Security of the cloud services
Security is of paramount importance to any organization. Therefore, it makes sense to check out the service provider before signing up for services. Reputed cloud service providers, with a proven track record, will have fool-proof security systems in place. Access most probably is only through a two stage authentication process such as User Password along with a onetime password etc.
The client organization can check out what Disaster Recovery (DR) procedures the cloud service provider follows in case their servers are hit by a disaster. The organization must get a clear picture of what services they are signing for upfront and not find out when a disaster is in progress. Due diligence on the part of IT Managers is definitely called for.
Like any other service, there are bound to be disadvantages. However, once these factors are known, steps can be taken to eliminate or mitigate them to insignificant levels. A Cloud Based Disaster Recovery model, scores big on lower costs, efficiency and ease of administration of DR procedures. DRaaS is a service all IT Managers must give a second look.