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Disaster Recovery Planning Done Right

2016-03-17

Disaster Recovery (DR) is a widespread reason to consider cloud services for online storage of organizational content. The Aberdeen Group determined through a survey of 100 companies that 66% of respondents identified DR as the primary reason to utilize cloud services, followed by increased IT costs as reason #2. Cloud services are a natural fit for a cross-organizational backup strategy. The thought of “having a central, remote repository for all data” provides peace-of-mind for CIOs and IT Directors of cloud-adopters.

 

DR table


Fact is, ill-planned DR strategies prove many well-intended cloud backup initiatives useless in the event of real disasters. We find that many organizations that believe they have redundancy in the cloud, have never tested DR setup in a simulated disaster. When considering cloud storage for DR purposes, it is important to recognize the particulars of your organization, as these can significantly affect the right approach to take:

  1. Does your organization host applications in the cloud and/or on-site? Consider what backup strategy is needed, cloud-to-cloud, or site-to-cloud. In many cases, a hybrid approach is needed.
  2. Considering various disaster scenarios, identify a sensible DR plan. Proper disaster management takes into consideration the periods of downtime, failover latency, service impact, failover duration, and restoration to normal state. The latter is often neglected or underestimated in its impact on the daily course of business.
  3. Which time intervals should be chosen for data backup? Any interval from nightly to continuous (real-time) replication is possible, however, real-time cloud-to-cloud replication is expensive. Moreover, for certain disaster scenarios, real-time replication alone is not the desired approach, as replication can potentially copy corrupt data, leaving the backup useless.
  4. Application data can be backed up at the storage level (disk-to-disk copy) or the logical level (application-level). Application-level replication takes into consideration the specific business requirements, such as a document retention policies, different access control during disaster scenarios, or other details of the business workflow. To address the risks with storage-level replication alone, the ideal DR strategy should include both storage-level and application-level backups.

We believe that proper disaster planning should involve application-level backup as well as storage-level backup at all times. Contact us to learn more about DR for WebPal Cloud Server application. 

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