What is the Cloud?

The term "Cloud" has become a vague reference to any infrastrucutre or service which is not hosted and maintained by the end user themselves, but instead by a 3rd party provider.  

We have in fact been using cloud services for a very long time, long before the term "Cloud" was coined.  In today's terms, all web based email services such as Hotmail have always been cloud based.

What does the Cloud mean for disaster recovery?

Traditional disaster recovery or DR solutions have been governed by a number of aspects particular to the location which needs to be protected when a disaster occurs, for example fire or theft in the building where servers are located, serious hardware failure or significant damage to power or communications infrastructure delivering Internet service to the building.

Given Cloud based services are almost exclusively hosted in data center environments, a number of these issues are already dealt with by virtue of the location being under strict security, access control and surveillance, having fire suppressions systems and having highly redundant and resillient power and communications infrastrucuture.

That said, we regularly see clients needing to protect against catastrophic data centre failures such as terrorist atacks, particularly clients in the financial sector require this level of protection satisfy both the FSA and insurance companies.

Fortunately Cloud based services as far easier to provide DR solutions for.

 

Cloud Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery for on-site systems can also be provided via the Cloud. i.e. cloud-based facilities constantly being kept up to date, and available for fail-over for all or selected parts of your business systems. We provide this via our private cloud facilities.

 

How do I decide what I need out of a disaster recovery solution?

The most important questions to ask are:

  • Which disasters are we wanting to mitigate the impact of (the answer here can be ALL but this cannot be assumed)?
  • What is the recovery point objective (RPO) for each DR component?  I.e. The point in time to which we need to be able to recovery our data, this can also be seen as the maximum allowed data loss should DR be invoked.  The answer here can be anything from zero to hours or days.

 

So, how quickly would you need your business operational again?

                       How quickly can a restore currently be done for your systems (24 hours, or 30 mins, or 5 mins?),

                                 and how much data would you loose (half a day, a day, or 5 mins)?

                                                     and, has a rehearsal (even just the IT part), been done?

 

We find a combined solution works best, with key systems being managed in a new way to achieve "very fast back on line" ability, with very little data "gap".     Ask us to do our quick assessment on this for you.