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Businesses use cloud for continuity, recovery

Companies need to be prepared for natural and man-made disasters that can strike unexpectedly and leave an organization without a data center, hindering operations and jeopardizing security. Because the data center is much more complex today and filled with moving parts, decision-makers are turning to more sophisticated technologies that can aid business continuity efforts - cloud computing.

When cloud initiatives are thought through and planned efficiently, they can deliver a number of benefits to an organization looking to improve its disaster recovery capabilities, according to a report by Data Center Knowledge. Many executives are using the cloud for replication purposes so they can recover mission-critical components of their infrastructure on demand, enabling them to quickly restore operations.

The cloud is also much more cost-efficient than many existing technologies. This makes the hosted services an affordable alternative to traditional disaster recovery solutions that were less reliable and difficult to maintain, Data Center Knowledge noted. In other words, effective business continuity strategies are no longer only available to large-scale enterprises, as even smaller firms can afford the cloud.

The data center on demand
The cloud enables users to quickly deploy and use mission-critical resources, which is especially important in a disaster scenario when time is money. For this reason, executives around the world are implementing Infrastructure as a Service so they can create cost-effective solutions that can be restored in a short amount of time, Data Center Knowledge said.

A separate report by a major cloud provider highlighted the benefits of using hosted infrastructure services for disaster recovery, noting that 80 percent of cloud users said they can restore data in less than 24 hours. Conversely, organizations that don't use the cloud said it often takes them more than a week to revitalize mission-critical resources.

As the cloud continues to mature, the technology will become increasingly important for firms looking to enhance operations in the wake of an emergency. Because the cloud is cost effective and can support near-instantaneous recovery of crucial assets, the hosted technology is quickly rising through the ranks of IT priorities, especially after decision-makers watched the catastrophes of Hurricane Sandy last year.

With the proper planning, companies of any size and industry can use the cloud to improve business continuity strategies, giving them a leg up over firms that do not have any long-term recovery initiatives in place.

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