At the Core
18 February 15

What Role, If Any, Should The Public Cloud Play In Disaster Recovery?

As business technology rapidly grows in scope and companies find themselves with more and more data at their fingertips, the question of what to do with all that data only becomes more pressing. Companies these days have all kinds of information in their coffers, covering their employees, their clients, their competitors and just about everything else about the business world around them. But how will they manage it all?

"Public cloud has at times dominated the conversation about data backup in the business world. But should it?"

One salient issue is that of disaster recovery. Because data is so important today, companies need to have comprehensive strategies for recovering from their data-related mishaps. These might include technical malfunctions, or alternatively, human error might be involved. Or, potentially, a weather disaster like a hurricane or thunderstorm might disrupt a company's operations.

Often in these situations, business IT leaders decide that cloud backup is the answer. But what kind of cloud backup? Some depend on the public cloud, which is essentially a multi-tenant environment in which many clients can rent space on one shared server that's managed independently and remotely. Is this the way to go? And if not, what alternative strategies are out there?

The Conversations About the Public Cloud
As they've begun to explore the possibilities of cloud backup, many business leaders have looked into public cloud solutions. These tools have a lot to offer in terms of convenience and affordability, but there are also drawbacks.

According to IT Business Edge, public cloud has at times dominated the conversation about data backup in the business world. But should it? Lynn LeBlanc, co-founder and CEO of software company HotLink, told the news source that for many companies that lack a disaster recovery solution, the public cloud has had pluses and minuses.

"Often they have priced out a mirror site at a co-location facility and realize the aggregate costs, including the people to keep the sites in sync and manage the recovery, are simply out of reach," LeBlanc explained. "As a result, they are accustomed to being down for weeks in a failure scenario. Once they learn more about technologies that leverage public cloud for comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity at about the same cost as basic backup, the conversation changes."

The public cloud is an impulsive choice for many because it's cheap. But it's also severely lacking in terms of companies' ability to customize the solution and make it fit their precise business needs.

The Rise of the Hybrid Model
While the public cloud offers many advantages, some companies also like to use solutions that are more private, which helps them manage their data in a more effective, customizable way.

The private cloud model is rising in popularity.The private cloud model is rising in popularity.

"Although the cloud is no longer just for low-level workloads, many corporate IT groups still maintain that mission-critical applications and data stay in house," LeBlanc said. "However, this is changing rapidly. In fact, the hybrid cloud model offers enterprises an opportunity to have the best of both worlds."

The public cloud just might be fading in time. Other, more easily customized solutions – such as the IaaS model – are now steadily increasing in popularity. Today's chief information officers are looking for more secure depositories to back up their data, and the private cloud gives disaster recovery an added level of comfort for CIOs to house that data.

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