Governments at every level and commercial companies of all sizes face many of the same IT challenges. Among the biggest of those shared challenges is minimizing downtime and the impending losses that may result from disaster. The city of Asheville, NC took a road increasingly traveled by more organizations in turning to the cloud to streamline disaster recovery.
For Asheville, cloud computing is proving to be a reliable and cost effective alternative to traditional disaster recovery solutions. Leveraging the cloud allows the local IT team to extensively test their systems while ensuring that vital services can still be provided if disaster strikes and the city has to spring into emergency mode. Moreover, the city was able to eliminate the ongoing costs of managing physical hardware and pour those savings into other areas of the infrastructure previously left unprotected.
What’s to Like?
Disasters can disrupt business operations in ways that are tough to recover from. And though the associated privacy and security concerns are well documented, the cloud may very well be a perfect fit for disaster recovery applications.
Off-site storage and recovery: Few things top being able to navigate to a folder on your hard drive and retrieve whatever files you need at the click of a mouse. It’s a nice luxury to have, but if your backup plans are limited to local storage, then you’re basically playing Russian Roulette with your data. By supplementing local backups with cloud copies, you can ensure that your files are recoverable from a secure remote location should the local site be compromised.
Redundant reliability: The remote site you designate as an offsite backup facility is just as vulnerable as any other physical location – state of the art data centers included. When connected to the cloud, you are not hinged to a single location, data center, or network. So even if one building loses power after a vicious storm, your operation can stay online and continue to roll. In the ideal arrangement, the cloud can be a key piece of a bulletproof protection business continuity strategy.
Speedy recovery: Cloud DR allows vendors to tout some very lofty recovery claims in the speed department. Those claims suggest that RTOs and RPOs can be realistically achieved in hours rather than days. A recent study found that 20 percent of cloud users rebounded from disaster in under four hours compared to the 9 percent who recovered in the same timeframe using traditional methods. The cloud’s ability to quickly spin up entire systems on virtual servers offers recovery speeds that make tape-based systems a tough sell in today’s IT environment.
Unmatched convenience. Finally, cloud-based disaster recovery delivers a peace of mind you simply can’t put a price on. There’s no need to invest in more hardware or allocate additional IT personnel to bother with extra maintenance tasks. Instead, you have convenient access to a supremely elastic infrastructure that scales seamlessly based on your resource demands. From testing to assisting with recovery, the right vendor will work diligently to eliminate hassles by providing premium support.
Selling Disaster Recovery as a Service
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the worldwide Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) industry is projected to reach $5.77 billion by 2018. Based on the $640.8 million calculated in 2013, that would be a 55.2 percent compound annual growth rate. Combined with the aforementioned points, these figures equal all the more reason for service providers to consider adding cloud DR to their portfolio of IT solutions. The importance of business continuity sells itself, so with just the right spin and aligning of stars, it can be one of the most lucrative offerings on the menu.
Curious how to get started selling disaster recovery as a service? Read our Recover-Ability guide How to Sell Disaster Recovery as a Service.
If you’d like to know more about cloud backups, visit the StorageCraft Cloud Services page.
Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Flickr