It’s obviously no shocker that this year’s recent Halloween super storm disrupted business operations along the entire East Coast. While citizens everywhere are finally restoring power and resuming their everyday affairs after Sandy settled exactly one week from today, business managers should know better than to think that the worst is over for them.
Perhaps the large and looming clouds which accompanied Sandy were a telling sign for businesses everywhere: Go to the cloud. If your business has been badly hit by the storm, the first step is to understand and come to terms that you will need resources to recover from it. While some companies will become convinced that the cloud is the way to go after experiencing what was easily one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast, some will have no choice but to consider cloud adoption in their current business plan. When considering the cloud in this situation, two words come to mind: disaster recovery (DR).
Consider the fact that Virginia, a state where both Amazon and Rackspace (News - Alert) base their major cloud centers, has been directly hit by 12 hurricanes between 1851 and 2009. While this may not seem like many, this averages out to about one major hurricane hitting the state once per decade. Additionally, consider that three hurricanes to hit the state between 2003 and 2004 alone resulted in the damage or destruction of 1,400 businesses.
Unless you seriously know what you’re doing, running your entire business in the cloud is not strongly recommended, but according to Cloud Business Review, using the cloud as an integral part of your business’ disaster recovery plan is highly recommended. While cloud communications provide a slew of benefits unrelated to DR, the cloud has been held in high regard for its reputable disaster recovery approach. The cloud instantly and easily protects your data from disasters large and small by storing everything off-premises via a cloud of inter-connected data centers. By investing in the cloud, both your communications and data will remain virtually untouched, the site explains.
Keep in mind, though, that the cloud is not the end-all solution here. While we certainly all wish that the cloud could be the ultimate solution for securing your business’ data protection, the key, the site insists, is found “under the cloud’s hood,” or in other words, “in the design of the data centers.”
While resilient and reliable sources can make up for data center shortcomings, the fact that data centers have a physical presence ultimately means that they are not disaster-proof. And if your data center indefinitely goes down for any reason, that unfortunately means loss of profit, online presence and perhaps most critical, loss of faith in your business’ reliability. (Must we mention the infamous Amazon outage over the summer?)
“Outages cause a loss of faith in your company’s ability to deliver on its promises of security and availability, and this can be just as damaging as the initial profit loss,” writes Andrew Rice in this recent CoSentry (News - Alert) blog.
In a more recent blog, Rice also lists some vital benefits of cloud DR, including better recovery times at lessened costs, better testability and its ability to back up your data in far removed sites. Rice also cautions against basing your data center in a disaster-prone area, cautioning, “If your data is backed up in a location that is susceptible to hurricanes, flooding, or earthquakes, even the best laid cloud computing plans can be for naught. Make sure that your data is being stored in a location that is less susceptible to the effects of natural disasters- and make especially sure that they aren’t susceptible to the same natural disasters that could affect your production site.”
So at the end of the day, the question remains: Should you still go to the cloud, then? CBR answers this with a big fat YES, explaining that business managers who remain cautious to make the cloud move must not overlook the most underrated yet critical aspect of the cloud: Disaster recovery.
To learn more about reliable and powerful cloud communication solutions to keep your business protected, click here.
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