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Digital technology / specialisationCloud Computing
Digital skill levelAdvanced
Geographic Scope - CountryMalta
Type of initiative
Article by Claude Calleja Executive at eSkills Malta Foundation published on the Sunday Times of Malta on 11.04.2021
More and more companies of all sizes are moving to the cloud, but why is it time to move Disaster Recovery systems to the cloud?
Partnering with a provider that meets their disaster-recovery needs will allow organisations to protect themselves from threats such as system failures and focus on growing their business rather than addressing unknown risk factors. One of the benefits of using disaster recovery as a service is that one does not have to invest money and resources in owning and maintaining a disaster recovery environment on the ground. It may be tempting to implement every step of a disaster rescue plan in-house, but smaller companies that lack a dedicated IT team may find it easier to use a third-party solution.
Cloud computing is cheap because of its economy of scale, and outsourced tasks usually gives one exactly what they need. The plot thickens for companies that use software as a service (SaaS) provider, which in turn relies on third-party cloud providers to host their services.
There are also several smaller, lesser-known players who focus much of their efforts on providing high quality Disaster Recovery Services (DRaaS), but there is a shortage of them either. A single point disaster can weaken one’s business, and a backup and logging service is extremely important if one needs to perform disaster recovery after a failure and see where something went wrong. DRAAS can be a great option for small and medium-sized enterprises that lack the expertise to test an effective disaster and recovery plan. Proper management of the location and nature of the backups, as well as the availability of backup data, can cause a single point of failure or disaster that can weaken the company.
A disaster can also affect a wide geographical area, which means that backups can be affected even if they are in the same region as the main office.
If one wants to use the cloud for DR / BC planning, there are some problems they need to face. For disaster recovery, this means how critical business applications behave in a cloud environment. If one relies on cloud disaster and recovery software, they also need to examine the specifics of what they are buying. These tests not only help to know whether the disaster recovery plan is working but can also help in gaining insight into problems that can occur during a disaster.
The eSkills Malta Foundations hopes that this discussion will hopefully clear up the misconception that one does not have to worry about resilience and recovery when one deploys their workloads in the cloud.
While such services exist, there is certainly much more to consider before an organisation can be considered safe. It is important to note that while cloud providers have certain responsibilities, companies and cloud customers are responsible for planning an effective disaster recovery strategy. One probably has a plan to protect their company data, employees and businesses. Management will feel safer knowing that one knows the risks and has adapted their disaster and recovery plan accordingly.
This is one of the main reasons why an emergency rescue plan is needed for both cloud services and in-house services, as well as cloud providers and cloud customers.
Other problems that could put a business in a bad situation if it is not prepared include lack of access to critical infrastructure and other critical resources such as backup and recovery equipment, and other issues.
Basically, the nature of the cloud makes it less secure than traditional options, and there needs to be more preparation to ensure security on the software platform and infrastructure level to ensure security. While cloud provides excellent disaster-recovery capabilities, it is not a cheap alternative to the in-house approach. If one’s environment is already in the cloud, it may be useful to use a cloud provider as an option to restore data. One can work with their Cloud Disaster Revovery (DR) partner to implement the design and set up the disaster recovery infrastructure. Cloud DR partners have access to a wide range of resources, including data centres, cloud servers, storage and network infrastructure, and disaster management tools.
While backing up important data is an integral part of a company’s IT strategy, backing up is not the same as having an emergency plan. The last thing one wants to find out is that their backups failed at a time when they lost their data. That is why it is critical for cloud providers to define exactly what their policies are when it comes to the backup process and disaster recovery.
This article was prepared by collating various publicly available online sources.