An unwanted event that has a detrimental impact on your organization’s business continuity can be termed as a disaster. This may include a sudden power outage, software failure, hardware failure, a network outage, human error, physical damage or any other significant event that hampers the business processes all of a sudden. As such, Disaster Recovery (DR) is all about recovering from and preparing for such disasters in time.
Every organization must create an effective working plan on how to minimize the impact of a disaster. You should invest time and resources to plan, train yourself and prepare documents or processes. With cloud, organization can scale up its infrastructure as and when needed by using pay-as-you-go method. Cloud provides optimized resources and flexibility to adapt quickly to the required changes during a DR event.
So, how to integrate an effective disaster recovery plan with a cloud environment? Let’s discuss in detail.
Must have a cloud-based backup plan
When there was no cloud concept, data was backed up to tape and sent off-site regularly. This method used to take a long time to restore your system in the event of a disaster. Cloud is an ideal destination for backup data that might be needed quickly to perform a restore. There are many open source and commercial backup solutions that can be integrated with the cloud.
The best approach towards backup plan includes:
- Selection of an appropriate tool or method to backup data into the cloud.
- You must have an appropriate data retention policy in place.
- You must have security measures in place for backup data.
Just having cloud infrastructure wouldn’t guarantee efficient Disaster Recovery. One must have plan for backup using the cloud environment.
Time estimation to recover from any disaster
Every minute of downtime for an application can affect business and finance of an organization, besides its reputation so you must know time required to recover data from your backup. There are two common industry terms for disaster planning purposes:
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO): It is the acceptable amount of data loss measured in time.
- Recovery Time Objective (RTO): It represents the time taken to restore a business process to its service level after a disaster.
Organizations can plan solutions with cloud to provide cost-effective system recovery based on RPO within the timeline and the service level established by the RTO.
Warm standby method for recovery
This term is used to describe a DR scenario, in which a scaled-down version of a fully functional and working environment is run continuously in the cloud. It decreases the recovery time to a certain level, as all the services are always up and running. Cloud provides a variety of services for computing, storage and network at a very effective cost and also based on a pay-as-you-go method, which helps you architect and plan a warm standby method for recovery solution at a very effective cost.
In the cloud, you can select different data centers, which are physically separated, to store your backup data against any physical damage like fire or other natural hazards. Cloud also provides high security for application data, including encryption, SSL supported endpoints, web application firewall, etc. Cloud provides scalability and high availability for applications running on it, which undoubtedly helps you achieve a better approach for backup and disaster recovery.
Cloud Service Provider (CSP) e.g. AWS, also provides multi-site concept for disaster recovery. In this scenario, a duplicate application runs in the backend with your current application, which shares half of the production traffic. It can be achieved with the help of weighted routing policy provided by AWS route53 service. This type of architecture, which is called as active-active configuration, reduces downtime during disaster recovery.
Why to prefer Cloud Disaster Recovery over traditional approach?
In traditional and on-premises approach, the additional infrastructure must be procured, installed and continuously managed & maintained so that it is always ready to support the anticipated capacity requirement or against any disruption. But with the cloud, you will get access to highly available, scalable, fault tolerant, flexible, cost-effective, highly secure, and reliable infrastructure that runs its own global network for your application.
With a cloud-based disaster recovery solution, you can benefit from cost-effective, flexible contract terms and the scalability to grow as your needs change. Cloud Disaster Recovery allows you to increase business resiliency and continuity while protecting applications, with minimal investment.
Be proactive and seek expert suggestion to create a disaster recovery plan to address the potential obstacles in advance. Your proactiveness can make a big difference how your organization handles one of the most feared and difficult situations for every business process.
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