Use of Cloud Storage for Businesses
As the volumes of data we create each day keep growing, it becomes even more difficult to manage different file formats. While this remains the case with individuals, let alone business organizations that create loads of data every working day. It becomes extremely essential for them to store those data securely in order to use them in the future. However, obtaining cost-effective and efficient access to all such data is quite hard, especially when users encounter outages and reduced performance. Therefore, in recent years, it has been found that more and more business organizations, both small and medium-sized ones, tend to turn towards cloud storage services to have their important business documents and files backed up and accessible by way of any device that can be connected to the internet.
With business organizations having to encounter the possibility of being out of enough space for storing their data, moving business data to the cloud keeps on increasing. A recent survey has reported that more than 35 percent of business organizations have been using cloud storage services for more than three years now, which is a one third increase when compared to the percentage last year. The most common reasons that were cited by those organizations for adopting cloud storage services include expansion of storage capacity and scalability. However, despite these two reasons specified by companies, it was determined by the general population that disaster recovery is the most compelling reason for them to choose moving their data to the cloud.
Outline of Disaster Recovery
When it comes to preparing for a disaster, there are several unique challenges that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) get to face. Therefore, in order to establish a reliable disaster recovery strategy or plan for these businesses, it is first vital to comprehend how smaller organizations accomplish disaster preparedness knowing that they can be struck by a disaster at any unexpected time. One of the most commonly given reasons by business executives for not planning for disaster recovery is that they look at it as an expensive form of insurance to protect their data from uncertainties that are not even recognized or distinguished pertinent to their impact on business. Before you think of implementing a disaster recovery strategy, it is critical that you first follow the steps discussed below:
- Carry out a risk assessment: This is important because if you do not take measures to understand the different types of vulnerabilities and threats that are definitive to your organization, you are likely to be unsuccessful when it comes to implementing an efficient disaster recovery strategy.
- Carry out an impact analysis: If you happen to find it difficult to measure the impact that can be caused by unforeseen blackouts to the reputation or bottom line of your company, then you will not be able to identify your requirements pertinent to disaster recovery, or calculate the right budget for enforcing the strategy.
- Figure out your disaster recovery requirements: Before you actually come to a conclusion about the type of disaster recovery strategy to implement in your organization, you should first understand completely your requirements, such as Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD), Work Recovery Time (WRT), Recovery Time Objective (RTO), Recovery Point Objective (RPO), etc.
Disaster Recovery Using the Cloud
The main reason why cloud-based disaster recovery solution is preferred rather than on-premise disaster recovery is that it particularly indicates that the fundamental storage and computing hardware is owned by the outsource provider, and that you get to access it by way of the internet as securely as possible. Also, most cloud storage providers would allow you to rent various software platforms, such as the web server software, operating system, etc. This is basically referred to as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which has been found to experience the most number of adoptions among business organizations.
Following are some of the prime advantages that can be enjoyed by business organizations when employing disaster recovery in the cloud:
- Subscription-based and transparent pricing: The pricing you would be charged by a cloud service provider will usually be inclusive of the infrastructure, all the software, and the entire set of services that are required to provide the solution. In general, you will be charged only based on the amount of storage space you use or the amount of data you store. For instance, you will be charged on the basis of per server you use, per gigabyte of data you store, or the combination of both. Most providers do not include the price for network connectivity.
- Easy and fast deployment: Almost all the configuration required for the disaster recovery solution can be performed online. This is because it does not require the setting up of control links, reservation of identical hardware, or negotiation of your Service Level Agreement (SLA). All you need to do is to make sure that the right layers of virtualization are being used.
- No risk of oversubscription: In case most conventional disaster recovery services, the provider will usually subscribe more than one client to the same resources, manages the ratio of oversubscription closely, and prevents the subscription of clients, who are from the same region, to the same devices. However, in such a scenario, there is an increased chance for the occurrence of several simultaneous disasters, during which you will not be able to access the IT devices for which you would have spent huge sums of money. Though this may also happen when using the cloud as your disaster recovery solution, the amount of risk you would face is minimized because the number of clients that can be connected to the same IT infrastructure is far higher.
By first understanding and determining your organization’s disaster recovery requirements, you will be able to enjoy all the above mentioned benefits.