Disaster recovery: Resilient cloud-based disaster recovery

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1 Disaster recovery: Resilient cloud-based disaster recovery Disaster recovery and business continuity applications in the cloud offer the benefits of speed, cost efficiency and availability, eliminating many of the traditional challenges of disaster recovery for your business systems. Disaster recovery in the cloud can act as a layer to complement and enhance in-house and off-site strategies. WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS: Discover how cloud applications can minimise downtime even in the face of significant disasters Be advised of the steps to take for success Understand why the cloud is an ideal layer for your disaster recovery strategy Learn how TelecityGroup s Cloud-IX can provide a secure and reliable connection between you and your cloud service provider

2 THE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY DEFINING DISASTER RECOVERY Disaster recovery has always been one of the most challenging processes for IT teams. They face significant technical challenges from complex infrastructure and increasing pressure for availability and resilience from the business. Cloud solutions allow them to transition to a business continuity approach that can minimise downtime even in the face of significant physical disasters. Written by Aditya Ayyagari, TelecityGroup Paul Chiola, Microsoft These benefits are critical for CIOs. By offering peace of mind, they can cement their position as strategic partners that solve clear and present business problems. Managing risk is one of the biggest challenges for modern companies. This challenge is often passed to IT departments, which are tasked with ensuring that operations stay up and running. Disaster recovery is a key part of the risk mitigation process, with the need for hot sites, redundant equipment, and complex testing scenarios. Modern technologies help evolve disaster recovery into a fully-fledged business continuity process, with more frequent and reliable backup of data. In some scenarios, data restoration can be seamless, enabling companies to switch operations from on-premise to cloud installations with next to no disruption for users. There are three main elements to this evolution: Benefits of a cloud-based solution Using on-site, tape-based processes is complex and time consuming. Manual data recovery procedures can disrupt existing operations and require investment in dedicated test equipment. Cloud-based services make disaster recovery easier to test and deploy by managing the physical storage of data. Cloud-based disaster recovery can lower the cost of implementation as the capital expenditure on some hardware items can be eliminated by using the cloud. The cloud provides a level of operational stability, because the technical infrastructure can replicate backed-up data to provide even more protection. ACCELERATING DIGITAL : USING HYBRID CLOUD RESOURCES TO DELIVER BUSINESS OUTCOMES Watch this TelecityGroup Webinar featuring Gartner for advice on how to get the most from your hybrid cloud solution. WATCH WEBINAR 2015 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

3 DISASTER RECOVERY IN BRIEF Opportunities Lower-cost implementation Ease of testing Operational stability Challenges Growing data volumes Shrinking backup windows Management complexity STEPS TO SUCCESS You can protect your business operations by moving from on-site backup and disaster recovery to an as a service implementation, in which cloud services eliminate the speed bumps to an efficient disaster recovery process. Here are some of the considerations that design and implementation teams will encounter along the way. 1. Engage business stakeholders Before designing the specifics of the disaster recovery solution, CIOs must first have an agreement with business stakeholders in terms of what s important. There must be a bilateral understanding of the importance of effective disaster recovery. Business stakeholders can help IT teams to understand which applications are important, and what their interdependencies are. It is the IT team s job to pull together these views from disparate management teams to create a comprehensive disaster recovery solution that will serve the entire business. 2. Define your parameters Information from business stakeholders can be used to set the operational requirements for a disaster recovery solution. You can use this information to arrive at two key metrics: the recovery point objective (RPO), and recovery time objective (RTO). The RPO dictates how recently the disaster recovery system must roll back data for recovery, while the RTO determines how quickly data must be restored. These may differ across different tiers of applications, ranging from almost real-time, through to hours, depending on the priority of the business service involved. 3. Choose your cloud provider Using Cloud-IX, IT teams get the chance to choose which cloud service providers they wish to help them with their disaster recovery solution. Consider all aspects of a contract when choosing the right company, including service level agreements, data security and cost of service. 4. Define your security strategy Consider how moving critical backed-up data online to a third party service provider will affect your security stance. Ensure that you have a strategy for encrypting or otherwise protecting data, both in transit and at rest. 5. Test and report Once you have implemented your disaster recovery solution, be sure to test it regularly, so that operations managers know they can rely on the process should the worst happen. CHALLENGES Effective disaster recovery can be one of the most difficult IT operations tasks, especially given the quickly changing nature of the corporate IT landscape. Here are some potential speed bumps along the way to a reliable disaster recovery environment. High data volumes Data volumes are rising in today s corporations. As more data is collected to support increasingly sophisticated business processes, IT staff must ensure it is protected, and made available quickly, even in the event of an outage. This can lead to shrinking backup windows, placing more pressure on already overstretched IT teams. Management complexity The biggest challenge for IT teams grappling with disaster recovery is complexity. Managing physical tape media can be time-consuming and also potentially dangerous, particularly if physical and logical security guidelines are not followed. Cost The capital expenditure involved in physical or virtual tape libraries can bite into already overextended IT budgets. Testing can add an extra burden in terms of human resource costs, and if companies resort to hot or warm backup sites to cope with physical disasters, costs can skyrocket. Maintaining recovery time objectives With DIY disaster recovery, meeting recovery time objectives can be challenging, as data must often be restored from other locations. Depending on the speed of your media and the size of your data backups, this can often increase costs as you wait to come back online. ASSESS YOUR CLOUD STRATEGY Is your cloud strategy on the right path for digital transformation? ASSESS YOUR CLOUD STRATEGY

4 HOW THE CLOUD CAN HELP USING CLOUD-IX FOR DISASTER RECOVERY Disaster recovery and business continuity is one of the killer apps for cloud computing. It provides speed-resiliency, cost efficiency and availability, eliminating many of the traditional challenges facing disaster recovery. Delegate media management Organisations using the cloud as part of a robust business continuity strategy can do away with the challenges of physical media management altogether. Instead of painstakingly backing up data to physical media and managing its chain of custody when transferring offsite, IT teams can replicate data to a cloud-based disaster recovery provider in a secure and efficient process. Use the cloud service provider s high quality infrastructure Take advantage of the disaster recovery, security and resilience offered by a cloud service provider. They are already standards compliant to a greater degree than most companies can achieve in-house. The cloud service providers have already implemented multi-site disaster recovery. This enables them to architect layers of disaster recovery that can be fine-tuned for their clients specific applications. Faster recovery time In a backup process linked to the cloud, the only inhibitor to data transfer is the bandwidth of your pipe to the cloud service provider. This is a variable completely within your control. Data backup and recovery solutions can also be enhanced with the use of incremental backup, in which only the changes to data are transmitted. This enables more frequent data backups than would otherwise be possible using local physical media, with a corresponding enhancement to RPO. More automation In conventional disaster recovery scenarios, physical media must be retrieved from an offsite location, and hot or warm sites must also be brought into operation. In a cloud-enhanced business continuity scenario, everything is predicated on application logic. Systems can be triggered to restore data using a high level of automation, which is faster, less prone to human error and easier to test. Cloud-based services are only as good as your connection to them. When dealing with mission-critical services such as disaster recovery, IT teams can t afford to leave things to chance. Cloud-IX provides an enterprise-class connection that you can rely on. Reliable connection Companies using cloud services to help with disaster recovery cannot afford to see dips in network performance, as their disaster recovery solution depends on a regular connection so that incremental data updates can be sent. Cloud-IX provides a guaranteed level of network service for customers. Secure operations Cloud-IX provides a secure link, with enterprise-class encryption for corporate data. Companies accessing cloud service providers via this link can have peace of mind that their data will be safe in transit. Choice of provider TelecityGroup s Cloud-IX solution provides a connection from our data centre facilities into a variety of cloud service providers. This gives companies with a presence in our data centres a variety of choices when building a cloud-based strategy for disaster recovery. Customers can choose a cloud-based provider according to the purchasing criteria that make sense to their business and IT operations. Layers of disaster recovery TelecityGroup s data centres provide the first level of off-site disaster recovery capability. TelecityGroup can orchestrate between cloud service providers to provide an additional layer of disaster recovery not available via an in-house and in-thecloud solution. CONTACT AN EXPERT Request a free cloud strategy consultation with our cloud experts. CONTACT AN EXPERT

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