Is Cloud Recovery Ever Truly Reliable?

Is Cloud Recovery Ever Truly Reliable?

Cloud recovery is hailed as being cheap, fast and easy, but what can impact its reliability and affect your business?

Cloud computing is one of the biggest IT buzzwords at the moment, with the service offering flexibility for businesses, automatic software updates and reduced hardware costs. Salesforce highlights that there is a huge range of benefits when it comes to the cloud, two of which are security and disaster recovery.

The fact that the public cloud is hosted by your provider means that you don't need to deal with the security of an onsite data center and have the ability to access data anywhere. This has helped to transform how many companies do business, especially as the cloud is seen as a more secure and reliable option.

However, is cloud recovery all it's cracked up to be? As with all forms of data recovery, there seem to be both good and bad points to cloud recovery, which we will explore here:

How does cloud recovery work?

Available on a multi-site basis, cloud recovery is thought to be faster and cheaper, offering numerous benefits over traditional forms of recovery. The fact that the entire server is held within a single virtual server or software bundle means that it can be copied in order to be backed up offsite.

As Online Tech explains, this allows for faster recovery as everything - including applications, the operating system (OS) and data - can be sent to another online data center without having to reload the server.

It also means that you don't need to rely on on-site hardware to back up data, or pay for software to be hosted on this in the instance that you suffer an outage. Not only does this make cloud recovery faster, it means it is more cost effective, which is hugely beneficial for all businesses.

What can affect cloud recovery?

Cloud recovery may seem like the easiest option, but it isn't without its faults. Running on a public cloud - which Computer Weekly notes is seen as the superior option compared to on-site data centers - means that you don't have total control over the running of critical systems.

The publication highlights the recent Amazon Web Service (AWS) outage, which was a result of human error and affected all users. This meant that recovery plans could not be used as the cloud provider itself was affected by the same outage.

If the cloud provider is not currently online, you are unable to trigger your recovery plan as data, your OS, applications etc. cannot be transferred from one data center to another. This essentially means that your business is unable to access anything hosted on the cloud until the provider is up and running once more.

What does this mean for your recovery plan?

Rather than having a cloud recovery plan that works on the basis that the cloud provider you use hasn't also experienced an outage, it is vital to look at options in case this ever happens. Not having steps in place that can allow your business to continue to operate in this instance could have a huge impact on both cost and productivity, especially if the outage lasts for an extended period of time.

Tech Target highlights the importance of triage when it comes to creating a cloud recovery plan in order to allow you to assess the full impact and focus on the most important areas first. It states that "priority and required recovery time objectives" will be the main aspects that allow you to shape your approach to each disaster and so should be the foundation of any recovery plan your organization puts in place.

However, your recovery options could still be hugely limited if your cloud provider is not online.

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