‘Disaster recovery’ in the Cloud
Picking up on our discussion from last month regarding the benefits of Cloud computing, I want to drill down a bit further and explore ways in which you can use Cloud resources to protect your valuable data against unforeseen and potentially catastrophic events.
Simple data backup as well as more comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity planning are an essential part of business, and increasingly, your personal life.
Whether you are a company looking to protect mission critical information and real-time operating capabilities, or a loving parent simply wanting to protect priceless family memories captured today with all of our mobile devices, it is essential to have an affordable, easy-to-use online Cloud backup service that to send and store your data seamlessly for safe keeping.
It was not that long ago that individuals or small businesses wanting to protect valuable data stored on their computers relied on mysterious black boxes they purchased to then manually perform periodic backups, all while praying that the stored data would actually reappear when downloaded after a computer failure. Larger businesses with significantly more data had far greater challenges devising backup strategies that required complex, capital intensive investments in hardware, software and physically separate hosting locations to protect their data and ongoing operations. Cloud backup and disaster recovery services have now eclipsed these outdated, manual solutions.
Just as the tremendous advances in virtualisation, security, network performance and affordability have made Cloud solutions so attractive for computing purposes, the same can be said for backup and disaster recovery planning.
No longer do we have to pray that the little black box will actually produce the complete set of data we think and hope we have manually saved after spilling coffee on our home computer.
No longer do we have to spend countless hours and dollars handling cumbersome tapes that hopefully were stored securely at an off-site location after storm water surged and claimed our main computers at headquarters. Backup as a Service and Disaster Recovery as a Service, is now available online through the Cloud for every level of user, from personal, small business to large enterprise data storage and retrieval, either publicly through the internet or via more secure dedicated access methods.
As a result traditional methods are becoming obsolete. A few of the advantages include:
• No huge up front costs for Capital investment or infrastructure management or black boxes.
• Backups are physically stored in a different location from the original source of your data.
• Remote backup does not require user intervention or periodic manual backups.
• Unlimited data retention. You can get as much or as little data storage space as you need.
• Backups are automatic, and “smart”. They occur continuously and efficiently back up your files only as the data changes.
As important as it is to implement back up and restoration of your data and applications, for many businesses it is also critical that you quickly recover your key servers and applications in order to get back in business.
For those companies every minute that you're down you're losing business, some or all of which may never be recoverable.
Business Continuity Planning involves determining what data is the most important, and how long you can afford to be without it if disaster strikes.
As devices, systems and networks grow increasingly complex, naturally there are more things that can go wrong.
To truly maximise our opportunities, we need to challenge some of the myths and fears felt by well-meaning and protective IT managers concerning potential risks of “new” Cloud technologies for storage and collaboration before we can truly take advantage of all the new possibilities online today.
Working with a qualified organisation, businesses can design custom backup and recovery plans that cover all types of situations, including everything from Cloud hosted backup to dedicated business continuity suites capable of supporting normal operations; and yes, all of this is available in Bermuda today.
But with all this talk of mission critical planning and “hot seats” for businesses, let's not forget about those invaluable personal possessions stored on your electronic devices that could be lost in a split second.
Very inexpensive, easy to use web-based services are available to protect your personal data in the Cloud, so there is no excuse to be at risk.
Where can you find the “Cloud”?
These services are available from local businesses right here in Bermuda.
A quick search online for Bermuda Cloud services is just a stroke away — see what's available in your own backyard!
Edgar F Dill is vice president of sales and marketing at LinkBermuda. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 497-7000.