Cloud Back Up and DR : The low down

Cloud-based storage has been a lifeline for smaller businesses looking to improve their resilience in the face of natural disasters and other IT outages, offering a scalable, pay-as-you-go computing model that allows companies to access just the amount of backup storage they need. Yet the reliability of the cloud can also foster the assumption that any company that has data backed up to the cloud has a fully operational business continuity solution. However, getting systems running properly in the wake of a disaster entails more than simply having a copy of the files stored on a cloud server somewhere. Businesses can benefit from working with a managed services provider to implement a comprehensive disaster recovery solution.

“A lot of smaller companies might think using free or low-cost services for backing up their data is a sufficient DR Plan,” cloud strategy consultant Jiten Patil wrote in a recent SYS-CON article. “In fact, most organizations – both small and large -miss the fact that in order to provide mobility to their employees you need a robust Disaster Recovery Plan that goes well beyond dumping data on cloud storage services.”

Among the models businesses might choose for leveraging the cloud in a more holistic way are using cloud infrastructure as a service, fully replicating applications and data in the cloud, working with a custom disaster recovery as a service provider or partnering with a managed services vendor that can help develop a custom blend of solutions. Leveraging a solution like UbiStor’s SafeHost DR, businesses can combine several of these approaches, getting tailored, expert guidance around developing a continuity and application-oriented recovery plan.

Maximizing effectiveness with managed services
Another benefit of working with a managed services provider is that businesses can ensure their disaster recovery plan is efficiently designed to achieve optimal recovery time objectives for individual applications or data sets. By partnering with an outsourced provider, companies can develop a plan suited to their budget and needs for individual pieces of information, data center expert Shawn Fichter wrote in a recent post for the Web Hosting Industry Review.

“If working with a service provider, you should engage in conversations around tiering your backup needs,” Fichter explained. “The process of tiering segments your data between mission-critical, immediate restoration needs and more long term, ‘just don’t lost this data’ [sic] type of requirements.”

By planning out data needs with a managed services provider, companies can ensure their environment is protected and recoverable in a much more sophisticated way than they can by simply storing file backups on the cheapest available cloud service.