At the Core
27 August 15

A New Frontier: How Cloud Computing Has Revolutionized Disaster Recovery

On some level, companies have always had a need to keep themselves protected against the threat of a data disaster. Even if business is going smoothly today, there's an ever-present chance that a storm will hit tomorrow and critical files will be damaged or even lost entirely. Throughout recent history, planning ahead for this eventuality has been necessary.

"Let's discuss how the cloud has transformed disaster recovery as we know it."

A decade or two ago, business IT leaders had rather primitive methods of safeguarding files – they used backup machines, or perhaps tapes. Fortunately, there's now a better way, and it involves reaping the many advantages of cloud computing. Let's discuss how the cloud has transformed disaster recovery as we know it.

A new way to protect vital data
For a long time, IT managers were content with the old methods of backing up data, such as using tapes. According to Network World, that mentality began to change with the advent of cloud computing. Richard Cocchiara, who manages business continuity and resiliency services at IBM, told the news source that the cloud helped uncover an entirely new level of business continuity.

"Probably the most basic thing is backing up data offsite," Cocchiara explained. "Most large companies have some sort of a backup strategy, but more often than you might think, we find companies who are not sending their data offsite or not sending it far enough offsite. Cloud gives them the ability to store data someplace remote, store it online and to typically recover faster than from tape."

Tapes present all sorts of issues with disaster recovery planning. Most importantly, they call into question the entire timetable for moving on from a disaster.

The root of the issue is: Where should the tapes be stored? Keep them too close to home, and you put them at risk. The same hurricane that wiped out your local data storage could destroy your tapes as well. Keep them too far away, however, and it's difficult to get them back quickly and keep your business up to speed.

With the cloud, however, all of this becomes a nonissue.

Every business can enjoy the benefits
In the early days of cloud computing, the technology was seen as a large investment that was only feasible for big businesses. The assumption was that while Google and Amazon can afford to use big, bulky data centers, smaller companies didn't have that capability.

Now, companies of all sizes can run their own "data centers."Now, companies of all sizes can run their own "data centers."

Now, however, the scalable nature of cloud solutions is making data center outsourcing a realistic option for all businesses, large and small.

"The cloud gives small and medium-sized business the same capabilities that larger companies have had for years," Cocchiara noted. "Many larger companies have secondary data centers they can use for data backup and recovery, whereas most smaller companies don't."

Every business, whether it's a large multinational corporation or a small mom-and-pop shop, has a need to protect itself against a potential disaster. Now, thanks to the cloud, they're able to – and they can all choose the cloud solutions that are the right size and scope to fit their needs.

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