Disaster recovery solutions in a cloud-centric world

Losing a single file, be it a picture or email, and not being able to recover it can feel like a terrible loss. And so for organizations that lose large amounts of data overnight — data that serves as the foundation of their business — this can be devastating. Not implementing a proper action plan to protect your company data is a major risk for your business today. In the past, there have been several unexpected natural disasters that hit organizations worldwide that led to complete closure or damage of the business resulting in tremendous financial loss. One of the main reasons for companies to shut down after a disaster is the lack of an appropriate recovery plan. Let’s look at some of the reasons why it’s important to choose cloud data recovery solutions to make data safe and secure when a natural disaster or a cyberattack hits.

How disasters affect businesses

Disasters can disrupt a business, small or large. Both natural disasters and human errors can cause great damage to data. Unexpected natural disasters around the world like the hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, and floods have damaged businesses over the years and wiped out the entire business from revenue to customers. Small businesses are at a greater risk considering they’re lower on funds to allocate for cybersecurity. Many companies that lack a proper data protection plan due to low-cost investment end up closing shop when disaster hits. If the very existence of your organization could depend on its ability to recover from a disaster, it’s something to prioritize above all else. It requires careful planning to start with.

Planning for a disaster recovery

Planning appropriately and ensuring data protection is in place with features like email backup and archiving is important to keep your business secure and running even after an attack. Therefore, a disaster recovery plan is a crucial part of the entire business strategy. Without it, the entire business can collapse overnight.

Traditional disaster recovery plans that are based on physical hardware located in the same space aren’t really a solution. When a disaster hits, the entire location will be affected leading to the loss of the primary and backup instances. Backing up in a different physical location is an option, but it is expensive. Hence, it is wise to back up data on the cloud instead of in the physical datacenter.

Data security on the cloud

But is all your data safe in the cloud? There still may be some reasons to worry about. It’s not just natural disasters — there are cloud disasters that can happen when data is stored across geographical locations in different servers by different cloud service providers that are not in your control. The biggest and most common security risk in the cloud is cybercrime, where individuals can hack files and systems by bypassing passwords and security information of the company. Another concern is that data is completely bound and privately handled by the cloud service providers, giving them access to data that again could result in vulnerabilities. So, it is important to choose cloud providers who provide highly authenticated, secured, and encrypted services for data storage.

Cloud disaster recovery options

The advent of cloud-based data storage has made it possible to store huge amounts of data on remote servers in various locations. This setup is not just cost-effective in comparison to local datacenters but also provides reliable data backup when natural disasters occur. Setting up such a cloud-based recovery system will ensure your data is intact with minimal downtime.

Cloud provisions and solutions

Cloud disaster recovery vendors support and provide storage space with continuous updates on systems, so users have complete authority to add, edit, and delete systems. And because its storage capacity doesn’t depend on any infrastructure, the businesses are not limited by space. Cloud disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) provides solutions during unexpected disasters, for example:

Recovery time and recovery point

Recovery time objective (RTO) refers to the time taken to restore the service after the disruption and recovery point objective (RPO) refers to the amount of data that can be lost during the disruption. It is important for any organization to factor in both these components in their recovery action plan.

Prioritizing critical data

Also, prioritizing critical data that needs to be recovered is a good strategy. Not all data is critical. So, if the organization can properly prioritize information it can help to save the most crucial information that is required to running a business without downtime.

Services and tools for data recovery

You can either opt for a cloud disaster recovery service provider who will be responsible to recover your lost data or choose a DRaaS solution that provides tools to do it yourself. A disaster recovery plan should be implemented based on identifying and prioritizing applications, services and data, and downtime that’s acceptable before there’s a significant business impact.

Cost-effectiveness for cloud space

As far as money is concerned, cloud-based storage is cost effective because you are charged only for the storage space and software license. Recovery solutions for database applications like MySQL and Oracle are also handled by disaster recovery services. The major advantage of cloud disaster recovery for businesses is the lack of complexities: There’s no infrastructure, no administration, no hardware. It’s easy with no interference.

Cloud service providers

The most popular giants in this space are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. They are generally trustworthy, low cost and come with vendor support. Setting up Amazon Web Services Disaster Recovery is easy with just the usage fees making it a very cost friendly option.

Google Cloud Platform Disaster Recovery has built its own disaster recovery solution using Google’s cloud services. Unlike Amazon, Google does not charge a separate fee for any disaster recovery setup, making it very easy for businesses to get started with.

Microsoft Azure Disaster Recovery provides a fully fledged DRaaS product, called Azure Site Recovery. The setting-up process and the interface are much easier in comparison to AWS.

In addition to the giants, there are many competitive cloud disaster recovery providers with new strategies to tighten data loss. They are, not surprisingly, is booming in the market.

Protecting your data

Well-trained cloud administrators and effective security implementations are some keys to keeping systems safe from the cloud security breaches. These practices ensure that security is sustained, compliance is met, and data is safe. It is always recommended to use two-factor authentication and encryption in addition to following best practices to keep your data secure.

  • Use unique and randomized passwords with two-factor authentication.
  • Use different cloud accounts to save all your important data instead of storing them in one place.
  • Use smart browsing practices while accessing the cloud on a public computer. Logging out is critical and never save passwords or cookies info into your computer.

Cloud disaster recovery phases to ensure your data is safe and secure

The first phase is to prioritize the important applications and systems that are critical to business functioning during a cloud disaster. Maintaining a backup at all times across different cloud platforms is a good security strategy. Cloud disaster recovery techniques save significant costs and support small and medium-sized businesses from a large impact during a disaster. Hence, finding the right cloud disaster recovery solution and service provider who is trustworthy and sustainable is crucial for your business.

Featured image: Shutterstock

Twain Taylor

My interests lie in DevOps, IoT, and cloud applications. I began my career in tech B2B marketing at Google India, after which I headed marketing for multiple startups. Today, I consult with companies in The Valley on their content marketing initiatives, and write for tech journals.

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Twain Taylor
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