Cloud DR: How Cloud Disaster Recovery Works and Its Benefits

Traditional disaster recovery meets cloud technologies to ensure business continuity

In the 1990s, I worked for a mid-sized manufacturing firm. We had recently consolidated our storage into a Storage Area Network (SAN). During an expansion of the SAN array in which we added a significant amount of capacity, a mistake by a field technician corrupted the database, which governed access to the storage. While no data was lost, access to the data – all of our data – was. We far exceeded our downtime window, and it wasn’t until the following afternoon that we regained access to our systems.

We dodged a bullet that night, because our data was fault-tolerant, even though access to it wasn’t. No matter, the incident prompted the business to ask the question: had we suffered a true disaster, with significant data loss, could we have recovered from it? That question spurred the development of a disaster recovery and business continuity plan.

While most businesses will never experience a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina or 9/11, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to disaster. In fact, numerous surveys suggest about half of all businesses will experience data loss. And the causes range from accidental deletion to a malicious cyberattack to a natural disaster.

Disaster recovery strategies based on cloud services guarantees data protection

When Disaster Hits, Businesses Need to Be Prepared

According to the Boston Computing Network’s statistics, 60% of businesses that lose their data will fail within six months. And yet, despite the risks, many businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place. In fact, a 2017 study by Spiceworks found that only 41% of small businesses had a DRP.

In modern business terms, data is like oxygen. A business needs it to survive. That’s why a DR plan is so important. It ensures business continuity in the face of disaster.

A well-crafted DRP will take into account various scenarios and outline the steps that need to be taken to minimize downtime and protect data in the event of a disaster.

There Are Two Key Components to Any DRP:

  1. Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
  2. Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

Greatly simplified, RPO is the maximum amount of data loss that can be tolerated by a business subject to a disaster. The RTO is the maximum amount of time that can elapse between a disaster occurring and the business being able to resume normal operations.

Once established, there are various ways to achieve desired RPOs and RTOs. One option is to have a backup of all data on-site. This way, if the primary site goes down, the backup can be used to restore lost data and resume operations. However, this approach is not without its risks. For example, if the disaster is a fire, the backup data could be lost as well. This is where cloud-based disaster recovery comes in.

Cloud-based DR uses the cloud to store and protect data. Cloud DR has become increasingly popular due to its ability to ensure protection against both on-site disasters (e.g., fires, floods) and human error (e.g., accidental deletion, malicious attacks).

How Does Cloud-based Disaster Recovery Work?

Traditional DR approaches typically require the use of secondary data centers that are located away from the primary site. These centers can be used to store backup data and run applications in the event of a disaster. Cloud DR, on the other hand, uses the cloud to store backup data and run applications.

Two Parts to Cloud DR: Backup and Recovery

Backup is the process of copying data and storing it in a safe location. Recovery is the process of accessing and using the backed-up data.

In Cloud DR, data is backed up to the cloud. If your business experiences a disaster, you can use the cloud to access your data and applications. Recovery happens in the cloud, which means you can resume operations quickly and with minimal downtime, which is good news for businesses.

Downtime is a very real and very serious cost for businesses. In fact, according to Gartner, the average cost of downtime is $140,000 per hour. Downtime also costs businesses customer trust and confidence.

The goal of any DRP is to minimize downtime and data loss. Cloud DR is an effective way to achieve this.

Best DR protection ensures normal business functions if a disaster occurs

How Is Cloud DR Different From Traditional DR?

The traditional DR scenario has you duplicating data and programs. This duplication, as well as backups, is either done on dedicated servers at remote sites or on-premises. You’ll need a skilled IT team to test, back up, and maintain all of the infrastructure for these tasks.

As a result, an effective DR infrastructure is traditionally complex and expensive. And restoring everything from all the backup devices, such as CDs, tapes, DVDs, and then initializing applications on backup servers if the worst case occurred was time-consuming. The data transfer had been definitely plagued by problems, and the time it took to recover was extended.

Cloud DR can provide businesses with many benefits, including increased flexibility, improved RTPO, increased security, and adaptability.

A cloud-based disaster recovery service has several advantages. The client only pays for what they use, which is one of the major benefits. The data center’s primary location receives the virtual machine (VM) snapshots. As opposed to having to pay for all the requisite hardware and in-house IT professionals, when using a cloud-based data center, the client only pays for the snapshots, off-state application storage, and data sync between the main site and cloud DR site. If a disaster strikes, clients will simply pay for IaaS-based infrastructure since the backups and snapshots of the primary server must be retrieved during failover operations. This is a crucial distinction because it means that businesses can resume operations quickly, without having to wait for IT staff to arrive on site.

Cloud storage outperforms in-house data center storage because of its ability to restore data quickly and accurately

Benefits of Cloud DR

There are many benefits of using cloud storage as part of your DRP, including:

Flexibility

Cloud DR gives businesses the flexibility to scale their backup and recovery infrastructure according to their needs.

Adaptability

Cloud DR is flexible and can be adapted to meet the changing needs of your business.

Pay-as-you-go Model

With cloud DR, businesses only need to pay for the storage and bandwidth they use. There is no need to invest in hardware or software upfront.

Improved Recovery Time and Point Objectives(RTPO)

Cloud DR can help businesses improve their RTPO from hours or days to minutes.

Increased Security

Cloud DR can provide businesses with increased security as data is stored off-site in a secure location.

Availability

Cloud DR is available 24/seven. You can access your data and applications from anywhere in the world.

No Single Point of Failure

With Cloud DR, your data is stored in multiple data centers. Data protection is guaranteed: if one data center goes down, you can access your data from another location.

Business Continuity

Disaster recovery cloud DR ensures a quicker return to normal operations in the event of a disaster as opposed to traditional disaster recovery.

Implementing a secondary data center via cloud storage is your ticket to a robust and protected IT infrastructure

Drawbacks of Cloud Disaster Recovery

There are some drawbacks of using Cloud DR, including:

Increased Compliance Requirements

Some businesses may need to meet increased compliance requirements when using Cloud DR.

Potential Connectivity Issues

If your internet connection is down, you may not be able to access your data.

Limited Control

You may have limited control over where your data is stored and how it is managed.

Dependency on Cloud Provider

Your business will be dependent on the availability of your cloud DR provider.

If you are considering using cloud disaster recovery for your business, it is important to weigh the pros and cons to decide if it is the right solution for you.

Why Is Cloud DR Needed?

Businesses of all sizes experience data loss. 60% of companies that experienced a significant data loss go out of business within six months.

Businesses that do not have a cloud DR solution in place, have only a 6% survival rate if disaster strikes. This is because they could not resume operations in a timely manner or retrieve their important data.

Notwithstanding the fact that cloud DR can save businesses money as it eliminates the need for a secondary site or dedicated facility, cloud disaster recovery is automated. An automated disaster recovery strategy is key for businesses as it can quickly recover from a disaster event without the need for manual intervention, which can be time-consuming.

Additionally, cloud DR provides businesses with increased security as data is replicated across multiple regions. This means that if one region experiences a disaster, the data will still be available in another region.

A cloud disaster recovery process can be initiated on just about any laptop or other internet-connected device.

Cloud disaster recovery hedges against natural disasters wiping out your company's mission-critical stored data

Final Thoughts

When disaster strikes, it’s crucial to have a plan in place to ensure your business can continue operations. For many businesses, cloud-based disaster recovery (Cloud DR) is the best way to achieve this. Cloud DR is a solution that allows you to replicate your critical data and applications to the cloud, so they are available in case of an emergency.

As you can see, cloud disaster recovery has many benefits for businesses. It is a more efficient and cost-effective way to recover from a disaster. Additionally, it is more secure and provides increased flexibility. If you are not using cloud DR, now is the time to consider it for your business. Without it, you risk losing important data and going out of business.

Parsec Labs is a leading provider of cloud-based DR solutions. Our data management and protection solution is one of the most comprehensive and effective in the market. Our elite engineering team has considerable knowledge with respect to storage and supercomputing. At Parsec Labs, we offer a variety of cloud dr solutions, including data backup and data replication. We would love to offer your company a free trial, so you can see how putting a cloud-based DR plan in place for your business can give you the ultimate peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more.

A disaster recovery plan using data stored in a cloud environment enables you to maintain security, remote access, and the ability to resume operations quickly in the event of disaster

Key Takeaways:

  • Disaster recovery is crucial for businesses of all sizes.
  • Working with a cloud provider can save you time and money as opposed to traditional DR.
  • Cloud DR can provide businesses with many benefits, including increased flexibility, improved RTO and RPO, increased security, and adaptability.
  • A cloud-based disaster recovery service has several advantages. The client only pays for what they use, which is one of the major benefits.
  • Why is disaster recovery needed? Businesses of all sizes experience data loss.
  • Cloud-based DR provides businesses with increased security as data is replicated across multiple regions. This means that if one region experiences a disaster, the data will still be available in another region.
  • Parsec Labs enables you to swiftly, securely, and simply store data in cloud environments. Parsec was created for scalability and is used in some of the largest data centers in the business.

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