Guest post from Rick Delgado.
Disaster can strike at any time. It may happen as a cyber attack, targeting important business systems and networks, or it may be a large scale power outage affecting millions of people and companies. There are many ways a company may experience a shutdown of operations. Recent research indicates that the most common cause for company downtime is uninterruptible power supply battery failure, which was experienced by 55 percent of businesses. The second most common cause is human error, followed by exceeding UPS capacity, weather-related events, and equipment failure. In whatever form it takes, businesses faced with significant downtime will likely have problems trying to recover. Disasters can sideline businesses, which makes it all the more imperative for companies to get back on their feet. Disaster recovery is the way to do so, and more and more businesses are turning to the cloud to make it happen.
Creating backups to recover from potential disasters is nothing new. Organizations have been employing this strategy for many years now, but as companies have gone high-tech, creating effective backups has gradually grown costly and time consuming. At the same time, cloud computing and cloud storage have grown in popularity, providing high-tech solutions for multiple services. Disaster recovery is one such service, offering numerous advantages when coupled with cloud computing. It’s these advantages that are essentially changing how disaster recovery is utilized by the business world at large and each company individually.
One of the major advantages to using the cloud for disaster recovery is the faster recovery times it enables. Before cloud computing, companies would have to save important backup data to tapes and physically store them in a safe location. With the cloud, this is no longer necessary since all critical applications, operating systems, software, and other data can be backed up and stored in a separate data center. Backing up these resources only requires a few minutes. While businesses could quickly back up systems before the cloud, this usually cost a lot more and wasn’t always dependable. Now, the short backup times allow companies of all sizes to be back in operation smoothly, efficiently, and quickly. This is especially important since research shows 93% of businesses that see their data center operations shut down for ten or more days will go bankrupt within a year.
Building on its Hyper-V Recovery Manager, Microsoft has unveiled a service that brings Azure’s cloud based capabilities to bear on disaster recovery for both on-premise Windows Server and Azure-based workloads.
Disaster Recovery for Azure is part of the recently renamed Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR), which is currently in preview. It is based on the current version of Hyper-V Recovery Manager (HRM) which has been available since January this year and enables automated protection, asynchronous ongoing replication, and orchestrated recovery of virtualized workloads between private clouds across enterprise sites.
Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of the cloud and enterprise group at Microsoft said the news is “more than just a name change.” The disaster recovery service will allow enterprises to encrypt, replicate, and failover virtual machines (residing both onsite and in the cloud) directly to Microsoft Azure.
Anderson said the service touts a number of built-in features that will make it immediately appealing to enterprise customers. For instance, VMs can be encrypted at rest, and all of the service’s traffic passing through Azure is also encrypted; it also gains near-synchronous data replication, taking system snapshots up to every 30 seconds.
Read our guest blog by Florence de Borja, Cloud Times on ‘Are You Ready To Move Disaster Recovery to the Cloud?’:
Elasticity, scalability, rapid provisioning, and cost effective resource use are just some of the benefits of cloud computing. However, for disaster recovery, the most important benefit is that it is cost-effective. A business organization need not implement its own comprehensive disaster recovery plan. A cloud service provider can offer multisite availability and fast recovery times at less than the cost of the traditional disaster recovery.
A disaster recovery through virtualization in the clouds provides faster recovery times because a server is not dependent on its hardware. The server’s data, applications, patches, and operating system can be accurately and safely transferred between datacenters without the need to reload each of the server’s components. Because recovery times have become faster with cloud computing, it is also become more cost-effective. In fact, recovery can take a couple of minutes only. There is also no need for tape backups anymore because backups are already done online.
If you’re thinking of moving your disaster recovery to the clouds, it is important to consider using various Internet Service providers in order to prevent any failures. Most business organizations today utilize network hub technology which connects to different Internet Service Providers for failover and traffic load balancing. In fact, implementing the use of various online channels must be a part of any disaster recovery plan. (more…)