3 steps to solving disaster recovery in the cloud

Those who wouldn’t go a day without DR for traditional systems find themselves exposed in the cloud. Here’s how to fix it

Disaster recovery in the cloud

Many believe that DR (disaster recovery) is built into the cloud. It’s not. Although many cloud providers do a fair job of making sure you can recover your data, you could be missing out on the capabilities that truly define a DR system. These include the abilities to:

  • Separate data from metadata, which allows for a better understanding about what you back up.
  • Deal with data compliance issues, such as HIPAA, GDPR (General Data Protection Regularion), and PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
  • Manage widely distributed data, including data on laptops and mobile devices.
  • Avoid backups for redundant data, leveraging a single source of truth.
  • Back up both cloud-based and on-premises systems using a single DR system.

Enter the new array of cloud-ready and cloud-delivered DR systems that can replace existing legacy DR systems, including the weekly tape backups that go off site via FedEx, along with a lot of money over the years. These new kids on the block have given DR a much-needed facelift and new capabilities to match how we’re doing computing these days, including cloud and mobile. 

I urge you to complete a few steps to design an effective DR system:

First, understand what needs to be backed up, including why and how. Most of those charged with DR have no clue what they’re dealing with and often get into trouble unless the data is copied with purpose and content in mind. 

Second, write a macro playbook that defines the DR activities that need to occur each day, week, month, and year. Define what is saved and why, along with any special considerations, such as compliance issues. 

Third, pick one or two DR solutions that support what you've determined thus far. This means that you have centralized control. A DR system should be both proactive as to potential events and progressive when dealing with emerging technology, such as the fast-paced movement of the cloud.

Voilà. You now have a secure, state-of-the-art DR system that will likely cost much less than its on-premises counterpart.

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