Cloud-based disaster recovery considerations

The disaster recovery market as a whole is evolving as innovative technologies continue to emerge in and outside of the business world. The prevalence of cloud computing, for example, is encouraging more service providers to offer Disaster Recovery as a Service solutions that can back up an entire cloud infrastructure, not just sensitive information.

A recent CSO Online report said enterprise decision-makers need to take their time assessing various DRaaS offerings, as different solutions will often have major or minor differences between them. Although numerous technologies have similar objectives, the biggest variable among technologies is the time in which they can restore operations back to full health.

"While most of the DRaaS vendors are relatively similar in their cost structures and recovery time objectives, the recovery point objective is a differentiator between vendor offerings," said Karyn Price, industry analyst for cloud computing services at Frost & Sullivan, according to CSO Online. "Most of the DRaaS vendors I speak with offer recovery times of four hours or fewer."

Recent natural disasters, such as the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, and Hurricane Sandy that battered the East Coast, have encouraged decision-makers to place a greater emphasis on sophisticated continuity strategies. In many cases, this has turned organizations that were initially skeptical of the cloud into true believers.

The new face of disaster recovery
In the past, enterprises would often back up confidential resources to a hard drive or external storage location to ensure employees would be able to use those assets to carry out mission-critical operations. By using the cloud, however, organizations can restore large portions of their entire infrastructure in the wake of a disaster, making it seem like an emergency didn't even happen.

An InformationWeek report highlighted how using cloud-based disaster tools add a new layer of resilience against threats in today's business world. This means the cloud can safeguard assets against both man-made and natural risks that would otherwise cripple a company and bring operations to a screeching halt.

InformationWeek noted that many businesses using DRaaS do so for its ability to improve security and agility, not just to reduce costs. These characteristics make a cloud infrastructure much more advantageous for the organization than conventional continuity tools.

As the looming presence of disasters continue to hang over companies, executives will be charged with the responsibility of developing a plan that will eliminate risk and improve the odds of successfully surviving an uncontrollable circumstance and thriving in its aftermath.

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