Steps needed to implement cloud based disaster recovery

Cloud is now touted as the best medium to put effective Disaster Recovery within reach of just about any company. But unless and until careful planning is done, this solution doesn’t turn into a cost effective disaster recovery solution. Strategically speaking, there are a number of strategies for using cloud for disaster recovery and disaster prevention and in this article some of the key considerations are going to be discussed in detail.

First Evaluate your disaster recovery needs in detail- Each business will have its own disaster recovery needs and that’s a fact. Therefore, it’s better to evaluate an organization’s needs and then determine the infrastructure and configuration you’ll have to put in place to facilitate cloud based data protection. For example, some organizations use cloud storage as part of a disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup solution. The primary backups should remain onsite, while the replication has to be carried out to cloud storage where they’ll be protected from things that could disable a data center, such as a fire or flood. Other businesses replicate entire virtual machines to the cloud so they can be spun up and hosted in the cloud if it isn’t possible to continue to host the VMs in the local data center

Then choose your cloud provider- As soon as you determined your data protection needs, the next task will be to identify cloud providers that can accommodate those needs. Here, not every cloud provider is equipped to handle every situation. For instance, some cloud services allow users to replicate their VMs for disaster recovery. But they won’t host it. Some providers only offer storage and do nothing else. Therefore, search for a cloud provider which offers cloud based DR services. If replication is the only criterion, then just subscribe to just a storage only plan to avoid paying for services and capabilities that you don’t need.

Get the costs on paper- As soon as you select a cloud provider for disaster recovery, go for the pricing model which they are offering. Remember, each cloud provider has a unique pricing model, but the total monthly cost usually comprises some combination of the following factors-

  • A monthly subscription fee
  • The amount of internet bandwidth used
  • The amount of storage space consumed
  • The number of virtual machines

Some cloud providers like Google Cloud Computer will include in the monthly subscription fee a specific amount of bandwidth usage, and any usage beyond that level will result in additional costs. Also make it a point to check the cloud providers’ policy towards VMs that aren’t powered on. There is a practice among top service providers to charge based on the number and type of VMs created, regardless of whether those VMs are powered on or not. Other providers charge only for actual usage and therefore offer a billing structure that’s based on the number of minutes or hours for which a VM is powered on. Thus, better to make a note of the cloud provider bills for services which are being provided and then go for the selection.

Develop a bandwidth management strategy- Bandwidth turns into core essential when it comes to the point of seeking cloud services. So, better come up with a strategy for managing internet bandwidth. The reasons are-

  • Many cloud service providers charge for bandwidth consumption
  • In general, all internet service providers will impose a monthly usage cap or may charge for excess bandwidth usage.
  • Users must also ensure that cloud backups or replicated data don’t consume so much bandwidth that other internet usage suffers from inadequate bandwidth availability.
  • Sometimes using gateway appliances will help in eliminating network bottlenecks.

Determine logistical requirements- If your company is using the cloud solely for its storage capabilities, there will only be a minimal amount of logistical planning that will have to take place. However, organizations that wish to perform full-blown failovers to the cloud will need to take a number of considerations into account to keep the costs down.

Virtual machine replication- Clustering isn’t appropriate for every situation, and not every application or virtual server can be clustered. An alternative technique for using the cloud for disaster recovery is to simply replicate VMs to the cloud. If an organization uses this approach, they must determine what they hope to gain from the replication process. For example, VM-level replication can provide the following benefits:

  • Point-in-time-image-based recovery
  • The ability to mount a cloud-based copy of a VM and extract data
  • The ability to redirect users to a cloud-based VM replica in the event of an on-premises failureThe major hypervisor vendors offer features for performing these tasks and redirecting the user workload, but some third-party backup vendors offer similar capabilities that can be used without admins having to configure IP address injections and DNS modifications.
  • If the goal is to redirect users to a cloud-based VM in the event of a failure, then the biggest challenges you’ll face are related to IP address injection and DNS record modifications. To be usable, the VMs will need IP addresses that are local to the cloud-based virtual network subnet on which they will reside during a failover. DNS record modifications are required so the virtual server can be found when it’s running in the cloud.

DNF Corporation can help companies in finding the best cloud based disaster recovery solution provider for their enterprise needs.

The company already offers Cloud based disaster recovery through its wholly owned business unit of StoneFly, Inc.

StoneFly Cloud Business Center can act a private cloud and serve users as a backup and disaster recovery cloud platform. For users who want a public platform, StoneFly Cloud Drive for Microsoft Azure will be an apt solution to consider.

With the both above said solutions, users can either replicate data or backup data to the said platforms to act as an advanced disaster recovery when needed. Also StoneFly Cloud Drives are ideal for protecting mission-critical information and include advanced business continuity features such as snapshots, asynchronous remote replication, multi geo-mirroring (one-to-many and many-to-one), data deduplication, volume encryption, and thin provisioning.

So, users get all the data protection needed for disaster recovery.

To know more call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF web link.

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