These days information is the most important of commodities. Organizations take great care to protect and their data and to ensure they can recover them even after a disruption or disaster. Thus many people have heard of the term disaster recovery as it applies to the world of computing – not real world natural disasters this time.
However, as many organizations have migrated to the cloud for their computing requirements, the term cloud recovery has become important. But what is cloud recovery?
The Basics Of Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery
Before we go on to cloud recovery, it is important to learn about disaster recovery in general terms. When used in the context of IT, disaster recovery is the provision of resources and plans of action intended to minimize the adverse effects of a disaster to allow the organization to regain normal function as quickly as possible. In some cases organizations prioritize disaster recovery actions to get mission-critical functions up and running first; the other functions take a back seat.
Two of the most important aspects of disaster recovery are recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). The RTO is the length of time between a disruption and the point where the organization or business enterprise should regain functions sufficient to allow its personnel to work again. The RPO represents the amount of data the organization can afford to lose, expressed in terms of time, when a disaster strikes. Both of these objectives are set by each organization in accordance with their requirements. Critical IT processes and data usually requires lower RPO and RTO numbers – but these come at a higher cost.
Early disaster recovery methods used physical onsite backups in dedicated servers or in backup tapes. These methods are very slow when compared to cloud-based disaster recovery solutions, although some companies still use physical onsite backups for their most sensitive data.
In the cloud, everything can be easily replicated and transferred from one storage area network (SAN) to another with great ease, speed and accuracy. Virtual servers containing data, applications, operating systems and software updates are easy to copy and move about.
Based on RPO and RTO, a company may choose a disaster recovery cold, warm or hot site. These are three other terms which are important. In disaster recovery, a cold site is one where the servers are on slumber mode until they are needed to restore data. In this system periodic backups are done depending upon an organization’s requirements.
A warm site has virtual machines preloaded with operating systems and applications on standby for any possible disasters. After a disruption, all that is needed is to restore the data. A hot site offers almost constant backups of data in real-time. This type of system is used in organizations with the most important or critical data to protect. This online article discusses the differences between the three types of systems.
What is great about cloud-based disaster recovery is that, like all other cloud services, they are highly scalable and they are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis. Perhaps you ought to make the switch too.