Disaster Recovery for the Cloud
In recent decades, cloud computing has gained popularity due to its range of benefits to business organizations ranging from cost optimization and access to high performance IT infrastructure, to security compliance and ease of doing business. However, these advantages are only realized as long as these services are available. These practices are designed to mitigate the risks associated with the cyber-attacks, power outages, network issues and other technical or business challenges affecting service availability to end-users.
Unplanned downtime costs business over $80,000 per hour in datacentre downtime according to a recent research. The midsize enterprises experience the most damaging consequences as compared to the large enterprises that still manage the financial damages. This makes disaster recovery planning critical to business success amid growing dependence on cloud enabled IT services, cyber security services and power outage concerns.
Disaster Recovery (DR) is a component of security planning that constitutes the technologies, practices, and policies to recover from a disaster that impacts the availability, functionality, and performance of an IT service. While business continuity involves the processes and strategy to ensure a functioning IT service during and after a disaster, the component of disaster recovery involves the measure and mechanism that help regain application functionality and access to data following a disaster incident.
Planning and Preparation:
Disaster Recovery planning to every organization depends on the metrics that are considered best to evaluate the recovery of an IT service. Organizations need to identify the resilience level for their development, testing, production environments and then implement disaster recovery plans accordingly. These metrics should be aligned with the organizational goals of business continuity and must evolve overtime as the organizational scales and faces different sets of challenges in achieving these goals.
For customers of cloud infrastructure services, the requirements on these metrics should be defined in SLA agreement. High availability architecture such as hybrid and multi-cloud environments offer improved operational performance in terms of service availability. The following best practices should be employed in deploying a disaster recovery program for your organization:
- Understand how your organization defines disaster.
- Define your requirements. Understand your RPO and RTO requirements for different workloads and applications.
- How do you re-evaluate disaster recovery on an ongoing basis to account for changing technical and business requirements?
- Is the organization capable of realizing a disaster recovery plan in real scenarios? Consider employee awareness and training, disaster recovery exercise and drills.
Know Your Options
Disaster Recovery solutions may involve a diverse range of options for different DR goals. A well-designed strategy focuses on optimal trade-off cost investments, practically, and IT burden with the disaster recovery performance. For example, if a car risks a puncture would you rather run expensive run-flat tires; run a regular tire; and keep a spare wheel with a replacement kit in the car; or run a regular tire; and have no spare wheel? Each option has their own set of implications and require a strategic assessment of the disaster recovery goals. It may be possible for organizations to follow a holistic disaster recovery plan that incorporates different disaster recovery patterns for different use case as appropriate.