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How to support business continuity in the cloud

The combination of cloud-based DR operations and on-premises data centers enables optimizing business processes and improving recovery time in the event of a disaster.


Photo: Shutterstock/Joe Techapanupreeda

I got a call from a friend who runs a small business out of his home. He has been backing up his laptop to an external hard drive connected to USB via Windows 10 methods and hasn’t noticed the external hard drive failing.

Even worse, Windows 10 backup notifications didn’t turn on (check out this guide for how to do it) and so there was a perfect storm when your laptop’s hard drive died as well, blowing out all of its data.

“Why weren’t you using Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or something else to back up your data on the cloud?” I asked. “You would have been protected here and if someone broke into your house and stole your laptop and hard drive, all your data would remain intact!”

“I was worried about the cost, and thought that if I had a corrupt local file, it would sync to the cloud and corrupt that file as well,” my friend explained.

“Well, it can happen just as easily with local backups, and now you have more costs to worry about in terms of time spent, lost productivity and potential negative impact on your business,” I noted. “Furthermore, our cloud-based backup solutions will allow you the functionality of ‘previous versions’ to restore corrupted files to working files and then download them back to your local system.”

My friend sadly agreed to the dangers of being wise, or foolish, as the saying goes. Fortunately, he was able to recover a lot of his data from his email account because he was in the habit of sending attachments rather than links to files online. I left this tip thread for another day, but suffice to say, email is not meant to be a file delivery mechanism, although ironically this oversight ended up helping my friend here.

There should never be a manager for local backups only. I paid myself about $120 a year to Dropbox to back up my data because the peace of mind is better than any manual solution.

We see: Power Checklist: Hard Drive Troubleshooting (TechRepublic Premium)

I spoke about the concept of business continuity in the cloud with Tim Potter, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“Using the cloud for disaster recovery can lead to a low-cost disaster recovery solution by providing lower storage costs, reducing capital expenditures on IT infrastructure that your organization may never need, and providing out-of-area redundancy with reduced commitments and operational expenses,” Potter said. General”. I.

Out-of-zone redundancy means that even in the event of a regional disaster, your data will remain protected, allowing your business to continue to operate. In this day and age of remote and global operations, this can ensure uninterrupted access to data for users and customers.

As with any new enterprise technology solution, Potter noted, integrating the cloud into its disaster recovery planning will require infrastructure, applications, and business continuity teams to learn about new architectures and potential new technology solutions. These teams must collaborate on how best to ensure the performance of data-driven services after any given catastrophic scenario.

Connecting cloud-based disaster recovery operations to on-premises data centers makes the best of both worlds, as data can be accessed locally even in the event of an external network outage. Potter said that using cloud-based disaster recovery technologies for on-premises workloads is a common hybrid scenario and that most organizations likely have a mix of legacy on-premises infrastructure and some infrastructure in the cloud. Having redundant sites with data synced between them via the cloud can be a huge boon to business operations.

“The advantage comes from finding the right mix of technology to reach and maximize the potential of the cloud — while protecting critical data and running workloads that lead to better business outcomes, faster value delivery and sustainable ROI,” Lee said.

However, Potter cautioned that there are some conditions. He emphasized that being in the cloud or using cloud services doesn’t mean you can get away with disaster recovery protections. Including cloud services in disaster recovery planning and solutions can improve RTO (Recovery Time Objective) and RPO (Recovery Point Objective) while lowering costs, but it should not reduce the planning and testing required to ensure business success.

“Conducting business impact assessments, identifying mission-critical workloads, and making sure you have well-documented procedures and a well-trained team to respond in the event of a disaster is vital to achieving the full benefits of a disaster recovery solution that leverages the cloud,” Potter said. Because a cloud-based disaster recovery solution can make end-to-end DR testing faster or cheaper, I encourage organizations to perform disaster recovery testing more frequently, thus increasing the overall resilience of the organization. Like anything, constant repetition and practice can yield better results.”

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