What is cloud-based disaster recovery? Why is it so important for businesses to consider today?
In this blog, we’re going to go over exactly that—what it is, its advantages with relation to traditional disaster recovery methods, and what organizations should consider going forward as far as business disaster recovery (BDR) solutions are concerned.
As most businesses will know, planning for the unexpected is an essential part of day-to-day operations, and disaster recovery is no different.
Whether it’s a critical cyberattack or a natural disaster, ensuring data is backed up and operations can be continued as quickly as possible is a crucial element of a solid business continuity plan.
Let’s dive into how cloud-based disaster recovery factors into a continuity plan.
Why Cloud Based Disaster Recovery?
Traditionally, businesses have backed up their data in on-premise servers in a safe location so that information can be recovered should critical IT infrastructure become compromised in some way.
This would require the installation of dedicated IT infrastructure, which would then have to be scaled, maintained, and operated depending on the businesses’ needs at the time.
When a business grows and requires more server capacity, they then must purchase more hardware to accommodate their needs.
With a cloud-based disaster recovery system, the business instead buys server space through the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model.
This effectively means that businesses purchase a subscription for a private cloud server where data is stored, and then depending on their changing needs the subscription (or contract) can be increased or decreased—this kind of scalability is unique to cloud offerings.
Related Post: Why a Disaster Recovery Plan Is Vital for SMBs
How Does It Work?
Cloud-based disaster recovery is actually as simple as typically onsite BDR.
In a traditional backup system with onsite servers, file-based backups are stored locally and, in the event of a disaster—natural or otherwise—can be retrieved and reinstated according to the what the business has in place.
The level of data encryption, redundant power and internet, and ransomware protection will depend on the investment the company has made into its BDR infrastructure.
In a cloud-based setup, you can most often expect an image-based backup approach.
Rather than a traditional file-based approach, which copies individual files and data, an image-based method takes regular snapshots of hard drives connected to the network.
When we talk about an “image” based method, we’re referring to an approach to backing up wherein a hard drive is cloned in its entirety and stored as what’s known as an image—this image can then be stored, saved, and retrieved quickly from an external source (like the cloud data center).
The advantage of image-based backups of a business’ IT infrastructure is that because it clones the entire drive and its operating system and applications, absolutely nothing is lost, as opposed to a file-based approach which (as the name implies) only saves individual files.
In other words, image-based backup systems are more comprehensive because they can allow a full restore of a complete operating system, allowing users to continue operating far more quickly than if they had lost the OS but retained their files.
Who Benefits from Cloud Based Disaster Recovery the Most?
The biggest beneficiaries of cloud-based disaster recovery programs will most often be SMBs.
For enterprise organizations that have particular requirements for their data backup systems—especially those with specific legal standards they must abide by—an onsite data center with a custom redundancy setup for their needs is often employed.
For the vast majority of organizations today, however, modern cloud-based disaster recovery offerings are more than enough—and often more secure than onsite data systems in any case.
What Can You Expect from a Cloud BDR Offering?
When using a vendor—like Datto for example—that provides disaster recovery, the services you receive and the infrastructure they offer is likely to be beyond what an SMB can afford on their own.
Consider the following benefits that come from Datto (businesses can expect similar levels of security from most BDR vendors):
- Controls: Compliant with SOC controls, a standard set of criteria for data centers to ensure their compliance.
- Management: A team of engineers that proactively monitor servers, evaluating their health, overseeing updates, and on-call 24/7. Encryption, along with physical and remote access to servers are tightly controlled.
- Data centers: US-based data centers, so stored information is not outsourced.
- Infrastructure: The data centers are rated at least Tier III, which offer 99.982% availability, are fully redundant, and average an annual downtime of 1.6 hours.
Related Post: Data Center Tiers: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?
What Benefit Does This Provide to SMBs?
The clearest benefit to the majority of businesses is naturally the savings that can be garnered.
On top of the costs of buying the hardware necessary to store backups of a company’s tech infrastructure, the hardware itself will eventually need upgrading or even replacing entirely.
In addition, having an IT team maintain and monitor this tech is costly, especially as requirements become greater in a tougher cybersecurity and data protection environment.
Businesses today are faced with several factors which necessitate solid disaster recovery plans.
Expectations from customers about information security, wide-ranging compliance standards that are increasingly becoming law, and more cyberattacks than ever are all adding up to situation where quality backup and recovery solutions are essential.
For businesses that need to back up their data and infrastructure, a cloud-based disaster recovery solution is the best option for them today.
In short, the requirements for an organization to run their own data center for BDR purposes mean that cloud options are the better choice for most from a security and cost-effectiveness standpoint.
This is because of their flexibility in terms of being able to scale them to the company’s needs, the lack of need for internal IT staff to maintain systems onsite, and because of the standard of offering that can be provided by cloud BDR vendors—in terms of redundancy and security.
If you’re interested in a cloud backup and disaster recovery solution for your business, Impact can get you started today. Take a look at our Backup & Business Continuity service and get in touch with one of our representatives today to get the ball rolling on your plan.