Why do disaster recovery in the cloud?

It is difficult to have any IT discussion these days without talking about Cloud.  Hence, disaster recovery in the cloud (aka DRaaS or Disaster Recover as a Service) should not surprise any of you.  However, before we discuss how this is done, lets first look at what options are available for Disaster recovery and then discuss why cloud based disaster recovery makes the most sense for anything but very complex needs.

Disaster recovery is a critical piece of IT strategy for any organization. After all, any business would like to continue operations even when disaster strikes.  Moreover, disaster recovery isn’t useful only in case of disasters, but is also comes in handy to ensure service availability during planned maintenance windows.

However, the options that were available before public cloud were quite expensive, and hence only within the reach of businesses with large IT budgets.  The traditional approach is to replicate your critical infrastructure in a second site and use SAN based or other replication technologies to keep data available in the replicated site. These techniques typically require significant investment in hardware and technology but are certainly very reliable and offer the lowest amount of recovery time objectives (RTO) of any other option available.  Also, for complex needs of large enterprises, which typically require specific hardware, operating systems versions and custom configurations, there still isn’t much of an option other than the traditional expensive approach.

For small to mid-sized businesses, the requirements are often less stringent and the traditional approach of replicated infrastructure is too expensive to afford. This is where the cloud really shines and comes to the rescue of the SMB market.  With rCoud, which is a cloud based disaster recovery solution, a client needs to simply install an agent on the systems they need disaster recovery, set-up a couple of preferences on a console accessible with a browser and that’s it!!  Well, I am simplifying what is involved to some extent, but it almost as simple as just that.  When disaster strikes, simply go to rCoud, click on a button or two, and have your environment up and running in the cloud. One might think that why did such solutions not exist in the past?  For one, network bandwidth wasn’t as abundant as it is today, which prevented such backups in the cloud. Secondly, storage was quite expensive for backing up entire system images.  Advances in these areas have made DRaaS with rCoud possible now.

So, to conclude, cloud based disaster recovery is a blessing for all small to medium businesses for whom traditional approaches are unaffordable and an overkill.  However, I am sure that after reading the above, you have even more questions than answers.  Stay tuned for future blogs where we will discuss other aspects including integration of rCloud with onsite backup or replication solution, how security in the cloud is addressed, various aspects of networking in the cloud, our Virtual Labs that are a great side benefit of DR in the cloud, different approaches with recovering virtual machines vs. physical systems and many such interesting aspects of DRaaS.