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Bring cloud into disaster recovery to improve survival odds

Augmenting legacy disaster recovery strategies is one of the main reasons organizations implement cloud computing technologies, as the hosted services enable companies of all sizes to leverage a third-party data center to store mission-critical information. In doing so, executives can improve the odds of successfully restoring operations in the wake of an emergency, as the external architecture was likely unaffected by the disaster.

In a recent study of 500 IT professionals, AT&T revealed that 76 percent of respondents are currently using the cloud or plan to do so this year. Another 62 percent of executives said they have incorporated the cloud into their corporate infrastructure, likely to reduce costs, eliminate management complexities and boost the overall availability of sensitive assets.

As for disaster recovery, AT&T found that 66 percent of decision-makers said they are using or planning to invest in the cloud to strengthen business continuity efforts, which will improve their long-term chances of success. For the most part, these organizations are using storage and cloud infrastructure technologies to augment restoration capabilities.

"Companies today are very aware and concerned about the potential threats that could disrupt their operations," said Michael Singer, assistant vice president of mobile, cloud and access management security at AT&T. "With their business continuity plans in place, businesses are investing in new technologies like network enabled cloud services to help strengthen and expand their overall continuity strategies."

Cloud and DR work well together
While there are numerous benefits associated with incorporating cloud computing into disaster recovery initiatives, the ability to quickly restore operations is among the most important advantages. A recent TwinStrata report highlighted this capability, noting that roughly 80 percent of organizations using cloud infrastructure services claim they can recover sensitive data in less than 24 hours after an emergency.

This means that companies using the cloud no longer need to worry about experiencing downtime in the aftermath of a disaster - a problem that used to lead to significant short- and long-term performance and financial issues. By taking the time to develop a well-rounded recovery program, firms can improve their chances of survival.

Because no two clouds are exactly the same, however, it is important that executives select the right solutions. If companies implement poorly designed clouds, they will not reap the same rewards as those that embrace disaster recovery projects leveraging cloud services sharing the same long-term objectives.

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