Disaster recovery (DR) is one of the biggest reasons that organizations are migrating to the cloud in record numbers. Organizations stand to gain great benefits when using a cloud-based DR solution, such as the ability to store data at a remote location. By using a cloud service provider, companies also have access to technology experts who will take care of business data.
Recent developments in technology have added new and promising disaster recovery capabilities for cloud-based DR and have helped to fuel the recent growth in the popularity of cloud-based DR solutions. In this article, we will examine three of these trends and see how they may influence your DR strategy.
Top Trends in Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery
1. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
According to Technavio, DRaaS is one of the fastest growing segments in the cloud-based infrastructure as a service market. DRaaS is the duplication and hosting of either virtual or physical servers by a third party. These duplicate servers provide failover if the primary servers ever shut down due to either a natural disaster or any other kind of catastrophe.
One of the most attractive features of DRaaS is that it can preserve and very quickly restore an enterprise’s IT infrastructure in the event of a human error (say, an IT manager accidentally deletes data files) or natural disaster, such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood, or tornado. This saves the company precious time and ensures that data is kept safe from events affecting the company’s main location. The financial impact of downtime can be devastating to an SMB. The Aberdeen Group recently reported that the cost of downtime has increased 60 percent in the last year alone.
Although the impact of downtime could wreak financial havoc on an SMB, many small and medium businesses lack the ability and resources to create their own backup and recovery plans. The total cost to purchase, configure, and test an effective disaster recovery plan can oftentimes be out of reach.
DRaaS offers small and medium businesses an affordable solution, one that makes it possible for organizations of any size to implement a disaster recovery plan. A significant reason for the financial accessibility of DRaaS is that it can be budgeted as a predictable OpEx, rather than a large CapEx expense. If an organization should choose to implement its own disaster recovery plan, the equipment would need to be purchased as an upfront CapEx expense.
2. AI-Driven Smart Disaster Recovery Solutions
One of the most interesting technological developments of the past 5 years is the rise of cognitive computing. IBM Watson is a well-known example of cognitive computing, and its analytical powers have already been used to deliver insights in the areas of medicine, water conservation, and education.
Cognitive systems such as IBM Watson are also showing great promise in the areas of business continuity and disaster recovery. An AI-driven smart system could monitor and report critical information, such as device temperature and capacity. A cognitive system may also be able to predict an outage before it occurs by recognizing certain patterns and warning signs. This AI-driven early warning and detection system could buy decision-makers precious time to react and avert a system failure.
A forward-thinking cloud provider will keep up with important industry trends and developments like cognitive computing. If a new technology emerges that will enhance the provider’s ability to deliver critical services, the provider will be certain to adopt it early and offer the benefits to its customers.
In other words, organizations that use the cloud for backup and recovery might have faster access to new technology than organizations that maintain their own on-site backup and recovery systems. The cloud service provider – and not the organization – will test, implement, and deliver the new technology or solution. The new solution will then be delivered to the customer free of bugs and issues.
3. Cloud-based DR and Virtual Machine Backup
Many organizations are now taking a cloud-first approach when it comes to technology investment. Disaster recovery and virtual machine backup are two areas in which organizations are choosing cloud solutions.
Cloud-based machine backup and disaster recovery solutions became very popular in 2016 for a variety of reasons, which include the following:
- Compatibility: Cloud-based solutions are built and designed to handle an almost endless variety of platforms and devices. Alternatively, if an organization chooses to implement its own backup and recovery solution, it will need to either limit the types of devices employees can use (a difficult task in the era of BYOD) or create integrations for a wide variety of devices and platforms.
- Virtual Duplication: To ensure a good fit between the solution and business goals, companies can duplicate and test virtual machines in the cloud, as well as determine the safety and availability of cloud services. Virtual duplication also allows cloud providers to offer effective DR in a variety of environments, including public and private cloud.
- Fast Recovery: Current cloud-based recovery solutions offer high availability that is unparalleled in other types of recovery systems. Some solutions are so fast that their developers refer to them as pre-recovery. These systems will back up protected nodes incrementally and continuously. If a node is needed, it can be replaced as fast as the time it takes to boot the virtual machine (VM) that replaces it. All recovery VMs are pre-built and pre-tested, which helps to ensure reliable and fast failover.
Oxford Networks: A Forward-Thinking Cloud Services Provider
Combined, DRaaS, AI-driven disaster recovery, and virtual machine backup and recovery have helped to drive the current and projected growth in the cloud-services industry in 2016 and beyond. As time moves on, forward-thinking cloud service providers will continue to look for, test, and implement the latest and greatest technology solutions on behalf of their customers.
If these trends are any indication, future developments in cloud-based DR solutions will offer organizations intelligent and instantaneous recovery from any form of man-made or natural disaster.
The experts at Oxford Networks stay current on the latest technology trends and solutions. In early February, we will be hosting our 2017 Cloud Connect Summit. Our featured topics will include fresh perspectives on IT security and disaster recovery.
To get more details about our upcoming Cloud Connect Summit or to attend, please visit our registration page.