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Disaster Recovery Realization: No Fortress Is Impenetrable

Joel leads a team that helps customers develop and act on a cloud strategy. Read More

This blog is part of our Tribridge Cloud Playbook series, which is designed to help IT professionals proactively address common business disruptors.

You've invested heavily to put your ownership and management at ease about your preparedness for catastrophic IT failure. You've taken care of the least costly and easiest solution: onsite back-up. You may even have invested in off-site back-up, even though it pains you to pay for the “what-if” scenario. But, hey, at least you sleep better at night.

But how ready are you really? How would you respond to a core IT failure right now? What if a major weather event was bearing down on you? Is your critical business data stored in servers that are safe from water, fire or other disasters? How quickly could you get everything back online from a remote location? These questions aren't fear-mongering – these are questions even the smallest business must answer hypothetically, even if the answers scare them.

The time to sweat the details is before anything happens. And your planned responses to specific scenarios will depend on your business, your geography and other factors. And there are things most businesses simply don't think to address, until they have to. Sadly, many business move to the cloud AFTER a major problem or loss has forced them to consider better alternatives.

Smart companies focus on BEFORE, not AFTER. A proactively developed cloud strategy is actually the best disaster recovery plan. It can offer the best and fastest pathway to return to normal operations after any kind of loss. From simple failures such as file loss to more severe failures such as an entire server or, even worse, loss of an entire company infrastructure.

But the benefits don't end there – cloud providers are constantly monitoring updates and testing recovery scenarios and, most important, they're always backing up your back-ups – in multiple locations. It's even possible to customize recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO) to suit the unique needs of your business. Another option is geo-redundancy, where a duplicate instance of your data exists hundreds of miles away, protecting you from a catastrophe that affects an entire region. These are just some of the options available as part of a highly considered cloud strategy where disaster recovery is built into the very core.

Depending on the scale of loss, when a disaster does occur, a cloud provider can typically give you complete access to your data within hours. A larger enterprise failure may take longer, but your data will always be safe and, in certain cases, critical applications can be kept running in parallel using automatic failover.

There may have been a time when concerns for security prevented businesses from experiencing the peace of mind that comes with cloud-based disaster recovery. But this simply isn't the case anymore with a premium cloud services provider. So, if uptime for employees, business partners and customers is a concern – and/or your data has irreplaceable value – the time to think about disaster recovery is today, even if you opt to start on premise. If you do decide to build your own fortress, however, keep in mind there's always some weakness, something you didn't consider (think the next Superstorm Sandy).

In this case, isn't it better to know that you're not just safeguarded by one fortress, but instead by many copies of the same one? One that ensures that your business can always pick up where it left off.

For more on common problems that lead many businesses to consider a move to the cloud, check out the Tribridge Cloud Playbook.

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