Recent disasters spark need for cloud backup

During the past year, the United States has fallen victim to an increasing number of weather-related disasters, including floods, tornadoes, wildfires and more. These incidents have enhanced the need for robust disaster recovery programs that incorporate the cloud, as the technology can host mission-critical applications and data in external environments far out of reach of Mother Nature, according to a report by Computerworld.

"Last year was the worst year we've had in the history of disasters," Disaster Recovery Institute executive director Al Berman said, according to Computerworld.

Experts agree that the significantly damaging weather conditions are driving the need for outsourcing environments capable of protecting mission-critical assets without jeopardizing their availability. When leveraging cloud computing, decision-makers must be sure a service provider's cloud backup data centers are in multiple, geographically dispersed locations, Computerworld noted. These forewarnings have not been heeded in the past and, as a result, a number of companies have been crippled by natural disasters.

Another report by InformationWeek noted that cloud-based disaster recovery processes show promise, as cloud storage environments are often capable of supporting large volumes of data while remaining highly available to users around the world. Decision-makers should be wary of their choice and need to be sure that a vendor's service-level agreement is understandable and realistic. Failing to read through and comprehend the SLA will only end up in unwanted surprises down the road.

Additionally, IT departments should test the disaster recovery processes to ensure they are as reliable as the vendor insists, InformationWeek said. By doing so, executives will be able to quickly restore operations, minimize downtime and ensure they don't lose any sensitive solutions in an actual emergency.

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