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Cloud-based DR: Recovery for all?

Ben Rossi | Sept. 18, 2013
With as-a-service being applied to almost all IT functions these days, it was only a matter of time before DR joined the bandwagon

Cloud can also be used for fail-over for servers to a secondary data centre on even a different continent, says Dietrich Kanz, Managing Director, ConSol MENA.

"In this case, minimal disruption in services is thus achieved," Kanz says. "However, these scenarios are very bandwidth-intensive, and the adoption for SMEs, for example, will depend on the affordability of high-bandwidth internet lines in this region."

Rajesh Abraham, Director, Product Development, eHDF, notes that, whilst RaaS may be attractive to SMEs, other companies may hesitate.

"For large organisations that have mission critical data, they might prefer to use a physical dedicated secondary DR site with periodic or real-time replication based on their RTO and RPO requirements," he says. "This is especially true in the case of banking and financial organisations, and other public organisations where the reliance on data is heavy.

"The downtime in the event of a disaster has to be minimal, and the loss of any data can amount to great loss for the business. For such organisations, the cloud may not necessarily change any strategy for them."

Growing tide
But there are certainly a growing voice of others in the region who believe those hesitancies are misguided.

Even for those large enterprises that are already heavily invested in DR, cloud doesn't dramatically change the situation, according to Savitha Bhaskar, General Manager, Condo Protego.

"Cloud can powerfully augment existing infrastructure and be embraced as appropriate," she says. "Cloud shouldn't be seen as a drastic, scary change — it should be a gradual and seamless evolution to greater efficiency, flexibility and cost savings."Kanz adds that it offers them a complimentary solution to build on what they already have.

"Cloud-based DR is not tied to a particular type of hardware, business size or industry, so can offer another DR option for companies," he says. "They could use the cloud to protect certain types of data, or departments, to see how it works and scale up or down as needed."

Indeed, the cloud also could be yet another DR layer, thus adding more safety for the company to protect and recover data, applications or systems.But for those that do choose to take the full plunge, they will see the early-adopted benefits before others follow.

Initially they will see little difference. They will still have to perform a business impact analysis and a risk assessment before proceeding in setting their RTO and RPO requirements. But from then on, they will find RaaS a refreshingly simpler implementation compared to its tricky older brother, and save greatly on the cost sheet, too.

"As we are gradually shifting to the new cloud-based IT model, the entire philosophy on how organisations approach their information technology operations is changing," Satni says.


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