When disaster strikes, you must act fast to avoid service outages, data loss and customer dissatisfaction. A cloud disaster recovery (DR) solution can help minimize downtime and costs and protect your business from potential regulatory fines. The best disaster recovery solutions use a combination of preventive, protective and response procedures to safeguard your infrastructure, minimize damage, restore workloads and ensure business continuity.
Traditionally, companies had limited options for protecting their infrastructure and data from a disaster such as a fire or flood. They could store their data in a secondary site, but constructing and managing this secondary site is costly. Cloud DR provides an affordable alternative to this expensive approach.
A key difference between traditional DR and cloud DR is that the latter is software-based and doesn’t depend on pre-installed hardware. Instead, vendors encapsulate application software, operating systems, patches and data into a virtual server image that can be replicated across multiple sites. This allows for a much faster DR process than simply copying or backing up hardware-dependent data.
Cloud DR is often divided into warm and cold DR strategies, which differ in how quickly they can be brought online during a disaster. Warm DR typically uses duplicate hardware that is kept up to date with the primary data center but isn’t processing traffic or sending outbound data. This method is relatively inexpensive and requires little or no downtime during a disaster.
Cold DR involves storing the same data or VM images as warm DR, but it’s not usable until you perform additional steps such as downloading the stored information and loading it into a VM. This is the least expensive DR option, but it also takes the longest to recover from a disaster, so businesses that choose this approach should be prepared for a lengthy and sometimes costly recovery process.
A skilled and experienced DR partner can provide expert advice on the most appropriate DR solution for your organization, taking into consideration factors like RPO and RTO, which are the maximum acceptable levels of data loss and system downtime. They can also create a Disaster Recovery Plan for your organization and implement it with minimal downtime and disruption to your customers.
The best way to maximize your business’s protection against a disaster is to invest in a fully managed cloud DR solution that can support your physical and virtual environments, and backup and restore both local and cloud data. It should also be able to detect and stop malware/ransomware attacks before they impact your production environment, and automatically apply updates to keep your systems protected. The cloud DR solution you choose should also be able to monitor the performance of your secondary site to ensure it is ready for failover and provide you with real-time analytics on your infrastructure and application performance.