Is your disaster recovery plan ready for cloud?

By Patrick Sweeney, Dell SonicWALL, Network World |  Cloud Computing

Because they operate in virtualized environments, they are generally easier to scale as needed, providing more deployment flexibility, and future-proofing against unanticipated growth. This scalability also provides broader DR options (such as supplementing or enhancing VMware, NAS or bare-metal recovery solutions), thus enabling a best-fit deployment.

Perhaps most importantly, by making the process easier, they can enable overburdened IT organizations to actually get a DR solution deployed in the first place.

Using cloud services can also be more budget-friendly. By eliminating significant hardware costs, they cut out large upfront capital expenses. Instead, DR becomes a flexible, pay-as-you-go operating expense, where companies only pay for the capacity they consume, and can fine-tune or terminate services altogether on demand.

Recovery-as-a-service can also help assure reliability. With no upfront investment, it is easier to test a solution before adoption. Moreover, cloud-based DR technology has matured to the point of providing reliable quality of service and uptime levels, as well as cloud-based validation of backed-up data.

Not all silver linings

Still, there are many challenges that businesses must consider that are unique to cloud-based DR. For example, placing your backups in the cloud may create greater dependency on network availability and, subsequently, in the service levels of your providers.

Likewise, with cloud-based DR, companies can have less control over throughput, and any degraded performance can potentially generate transactional lag time. While this might not significantly affect recovery of static files or email, it can make cloud-based DR inappropriate in other scenarios, such as in recovering dynamically replicated databases. Increased demand for additional bandwidth might also result in unanticipated cost overruns.

SURVEY: Can you trust data-recovery service providers?

Compliance can be another serious concern for many businesses looking at cloud-based DR. While cloud-based security and encryption technology has matured, there may still be grey areas when it comes to meeting regulatory standards, such as with healthcare or financial data.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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