Cloud disaster recovery is a service that allows for copies of existing data, operating systems, and whole servers to be created in the cloud. These copies function in the place of their originals if those get lost during disruptions or catastrophes.
For example, a company’s systems and applications can get knocked out by power outage, human error, or even a natural disaster. When this happens, it may lose several hours or even days of productivity. The effects of prolonged disruptions of this type eventually show up in its balance sheets as depressed revenues, and in a diminished reputation in the eyes of its customers.
If that business had access to cloud disaster recovery, they could have switched to the virtual copies of their data, operating systems and servers on the cloud, and carried on with normal functioning in a matter of minutes. They would not have to lose the hours or days that eventually cost them clients and revenues.
When conditions favour a return to the status quo preceding the disruption, the copied records can be copied back to the primary mediums on which they would normally run.
How Cloud Disaster Recovery Works
What happens here is something akin to everyday backup, but with a number of key differences.
First, backups are done primarily to preserve records for retrieval at a later time. The retrieval process may take a long while, depending on the size of the data being collected and the medium it’s been stored on. Disaster recovery reproduces original files just so ongoing work on them can continue right at the moment (or as quickly as possible)
But disaster recovery replicates more than just data. In many cases, computers’ functional features can also be ‘mirrored’ as Virtual Machines. Because the data and the system on which it’s processed are both virtualized (i.e. they are without hardware components), it’s easier to carry on with the data processing after the DR kicks in, and also transfer the copied material back to their primary operating machines.
In summary, cloud DR is backups, downtime support, and restoration, all sped up.
A couple of technical terms to note: when data is transferred from a disrupted system to a cloud computing environment (i.e. the first phase of a DR), cloud technologists say a failover has been implemented. On the other hand, the switch back to a primary machine or facility (at the end of the DR) is called a failback.
Potential Cost Savings
The path to business growth with cloud disaster recovery begins with the cost savings it helps enterprises achieve. Here are a number of ways DR saves up resources for companies that utilize it:
1. There’s little or no capital expenditure on additional hardware or software services.
2. Because it’s scalable, you don’t have to make an upfront payment for potential use. You simply pay as your use of it expands.
3. Businesses don’t have to spend on setting up a second data center; they can have a third party collocation facility provide them with Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).
4. The virtualized serves and data ensure that executing failbacks isn’t as expensive and time-consuming as copying between discs and the primary machines involved.
5. Companies’ IT departments can save time and energy they would have devoted to sorting out failed systems; a lot of that is taken care of by the automated cloud DR.
Spawning Efficiencies and Driving Growth
These savings lead to efficiencies on a number of fronts. For example, companies can decide to only recover data that they consider critical. This keeps their recovery costs down and allows them to run more focused operations. Their IT teams also have more time for core functions, which should mean their productivity on the job increases.
It’s these sorts of efficiencies that eventually lead to growth. When companies run focused operations, they devote more resources to things that have the greatest guarantee of success. They work to reduce waste (whether it’s a waste of storage space, time, money, or labour). Ultimately, they will tend to make the most of the input they have. In other words, the quality and quantity of their output get better.
With better output comes more patronage (other things being equal), higher sales and revenues, and progress up the growth curve.
Are There Less Expensive Alternatives?
Many people think regular backup is a less expensive (albeit a more tasking) alternative to cloud disaster recovery.
But backups, whether done on drives, tapes, or the cloud, are not an alternative to cloud DR. They are supposed to preserve for later retrieval (as we have already mentioned). It takes time to load up whatever has been stored in this mode for any useful purposes--- it’s that time gap that cloud DR exits to eliminate.
The backup process itself typically takes a long while to complete; sometimes it may run for days. It all depends on the size of the material being copied. Add this to the gradual retrieval we mentioned earlier, and it becomes obvious why it’s not a proper replacement for disaster recovery.
However, backups are important. They are a longer-term safe keep of records, which may come in handy at some point. As such, they should be at the heart of any company’s data protection strategy.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
Businesses can access Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) from a cloud service provider. This lets them have the benefits that have been described here: quick data backup, minimized disruptions, data restoration, and the cost savings associated with these things.
Layer3Cloud provides cloud disaster recovery services to companies in Nigeria. This offering helps them carry on their operations even when their networks get disrupted. Besides quick recoveries, Layer3Cloud also confers these additional advantages:
•Companies can choose the data they would like to backup, and reduce costs in doing so.
•The DRaaS solution replicates any operating environment and doesn’t discriminate platforms.
•System virtualization, which allows data to be replicated across multiple sites. This reduces the chances of backup failure as there are options to choose from.
Cloud-based disaster recovery is more than just a security arrangement. It could help businesses maintain operations standards, lift productivity, and boost yields. It’s a vehicle that Nigerian companies can adopt to accelerate their growth.