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Cloud Helps Companies Face Disaster Head-On

Denise Culver
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Denise Culver, Online Research Director
5/13/2014
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When Hurricane Sandy hit the Atlantic Coast in October 2012, the resulting power outages, storm damage, and lost business cost an estimated $50 billion. One of the hardest lessons for many companies affected was that having no disaster recovery (DR) -- or ineffective DR -- during a natural disaster can be the difference between staying in business and no longer having a business after such a storm.

The impact of Sandy -- as well as other disasters, both natural and manmade -- has pushed the envelope for businesses to place their DR in the cloud. As more businesses move DR to the cloud, the solutions are growing in popularity for several reasons.

Most cloud-based DR comes with guaranteed service-level agreements (SLAs) that promise to make companies' information accessible and indestructible at any time. For instance, if a company is using a physical off-site data center that is located close to the main location of the company, that site could be affected by any disaster that affects the company. When using a cloud-based DR solution, the systems are accessible in the cloud, which is located far from the primary site and ensures that it will not be affected by the disaster.

This is just some of the information in this month's Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, "Disaster Recovery Hits The Cloud, Finds Silver Lining." This report examines the cloud-based disaster recovery market, analyzing the features that are most likely to be implemented over the next two years, as well as drivers expected in the market. It discusses challenges in the industry and includes a comparative analysis of solutions available. Finally, it examines the geographic landscape of the market and details trends that are likely to occur in the industry over the next 18-24 months.

Cloud-based DR also is gaining traction because it generally is cheaper to implement than physical DR. Cloud DR eliminates investment in offsite duplicate IT infrastructure, which significantly reduces the upfront and overall capex costs. The usage-based, opex cost of cloud DR enables customers to only pay for what they need, allowing each business to determine which systems and data are critical for performance in the event of a disaster.

Additionally, the recovery time for cloud-based DR depends on the customer's needs and the service provider's capabilities. The speed of a company's recovery depends on the SLA it chooses.

Without question, cloud-based DR lowers costs and is more flexible for companies facing a disaster situation. As the space continues to mature, look for service providers to merge and forge new partnerships that bring more speed and improved SLAs to customers. Also look for more smaller and medium-sized businesses to entrust their systems to cloud-based DR, as the costs are driven further down and become more reasonable for smaller customers that have disaster recovery needs.

— Denise Culver, Research Analyst, Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider

Disaster Recovery Hits The Cloud, Finds Silver Lining, a 25-page report in PDF format, is available as part of an annual subscription (6 bimonthly issues) to Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900.

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Phil_Britt
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Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/13/2014 | 3:54:35 PM
Cloud should be only part of the strategy
While cloud DR makes sense in that a company doesn't have its disaster recovery on site, which would mean it is subject to the same power outages or natural disasters of the primary system, a cloud system can fail as well. So a company should seek multiple DR solutions for the safety of redundancy.
Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/13/2014 | 2:09:18 PM
Cloud DR
DR is one of the most basic applications for the enterprise cloud. You might say it's a gateway drug. :)
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