Building and maintaining a data environment that is used for daily business activities may be expensive but, by any measure, is more than worth the effort. Doing the same for an environment that is rarely, if ever, activated is both expensive and burdensome, with little prospect for a decent return on the investment.
And yet, this is what a large portion of the enterprise community does in order to maintain continuity of critical operations during a disaster. In this age of connected devices, with applications acting as the lifeblood of most business models, downtime of data infrastructure for even a short while can quickly throw an organization into financial turmoil and perhaps cause lasting damage to the brand as users are able to switch to new providers at the touch of an icon.
When it comes to disaster recovery (DR) in the cloud, the enterprise must rethink the complex and costly approaches of the past in favor of streamlined, easily managed infrastructure that is ready to activate at a moment’s notice. And for this, there is no better solution than the public cloud.
The key advantage that the cloud brings to DR is the ability to provide this vital function on the same footing as any other Software as a Service (SaaS) offering. This provides a range of cost and feature benefits that enable you to reap the rewards of a state-of-the-art DR environment without the high overhead of dedicated equipment that sits idle for the majority of its lifetime.
Specifically, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) provides the following:
By shifting disaster recovery services from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model to an operating expenditure (OpEx) model, you can vastly reduce your overall cost structure in two ways. First, you no longer need a massive upfront capital outlay because there is no infrastructure to buy, build, provision, or integrate. Disaster recovery services are delivered from the cloud, where the cost of infrastructure is shared among multiple clients. Secondly, ongoing operational costs are lessened because the management and upkeep of infrastructure are outsourced to the cloud provider. All you have to do is oversee your own internal processes and coordinate testing with the managed cloud provider to ensure data and operating environments can be failed over quickly and smoothly to ensure the highest levels of continuity are being maintained.
Unlike on-premises environments, managed cloud disaster recovery services are routinely upgraded with the latest features and to the most robust industry standards. Cloud DR providers must compete for your business just like any other supplier, which means they are constantly striving to out-perform their own competition. Already, in fact, many providers are deploying advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics process automation (RPA), and even quantum computing to ensure that their services stand out from the rest of the field.
Contrary to the stereotype of the cloud as a warehouse of generic computing and storage technology, the fact is that in recent years, providers have made great strides in the delivery of highly customized advanced features and solutions. Starting with robust templates for key industry verticals like finance and healthcare, most providers work closely with leading technology consultants like CBTS to craft solutions that meet the unique requirements of each enterprise and address your industry’s compliance and regulatory requirements.
Unlike the traditional data center, public cloud provides just the right level of storage and compute to satisfy business objectives—in this case, continuity after a failure—without over engineering the environment. There is no need to overprovision resources only to have them sit idle most of the time. The cloud provides near-instant provisioning of virtual environments so that your consumption matches your data load. Also, data environments can be migrated from cloud to cloud with relative ease, offering an added layer of protection against failure in the event of a regional disaster like an earthquake or hurricane.
The key challenge when it comes to DRaaS, however, is the need to acquire expertise in cloud infrastructure and services. Your provider will certainly offer a wealth of assistance, but it is usually better to bring in an independent contractor to ensure that the environment you create offers the highest return on your investment.
This is where CBTS becomes invaluable. Our proven methodology delivers highly targeted solutions for your managed cloud disaster recovery needs. We begin with a thorough assessment of existing infrastructure, services, workflows, business objectives, and other aspects of your enterprise, followed by a robust program designed to fulfill optimal recovery point and time objectives (RPO/RTO). We also have the means to incorporate a wide range of managed services, including annual testing to ensure a successful recovery every time, and we also provide ongoing maintenance and support of the full environment so your IT staff can focus on running your data ecosystem.
The ease with which robust DR environments can be created in the cloud and integrated into the enterprise business environment is nothing less than revolutionary. With the business model quickly becoming wholly dependent on functioning data infrastructure, the risk is simply too great to avoid making this transition much longer.
Download this case study from CBTS for an example of a cloud disaster recovery solution that mitigates natural disaster risk.