Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cloud Computing For Disaster Recovery

It’s been quite a year for natural disasters. Fires scorching thousands of acres at a time, rivers overflowing their banks, torrential rainfall, tornadoes everywhere. Are you feeling a little nervous that your business could be taken out at any time?

Consider the cloud as a disaster recovery solution...Sadly, an unfortunate twist of fate can hit anyone at any time. You probably already have some protections in place, such as property insurance, tape or disk file backups and maybe even offsite storage of important files. Ask yourself this, however. How will you get your business back running immediately after a catastrophic local disaster?

While having copies of critical documents and customer files may prevent you from going out of business permanently if disaster strikes, they aren’t enough to keep you running without a hiccup. For that you need backup infrastructure as well as files. A generation ago, that meant duplicate data centers that were located far apart. The idea is that the kind of disaster that wipes out your facilities is unlikely to hit two geographically separated areas simultaneously. If you are prone to earthquakes, one data center can be local but the other must be in an earthquake free zone. The same thing applies to hurricanes. If you are on the coast, your backup must be far inland.

Today’s disaster recovery solution of choice is the cloud. With infrastructure, platform and software as a service, you can do anything in the cloud that you would do in-house. The advantage is that the cloud is often far, far away.

Why choose a cloud solution over doing it all yourself? Avoidance of enormous capital investment is a very good reason. It’s not hard to spend millions creating the environmentally controlled and secure facilities with robust backup power and multiple diverse bandwidth connections, not to mention the racks and racks of equipment inside. This is one reason why many businesses decide that regular system backups are good enough. If the worst happens, they’ll simply get an insurance settlement and order replacement equipment. Oh? How long will that take? Just what is your income stream going to look line in the ensuing days, weeks or months?

One advantage of the cloud is that it scales fast. You could decide to have a minimal cloud solution implemented right now for the monthly fee it takes for storage and limited server capacity. If you get knocked out where are, you can log-into the cloud from wherever you can get a broadband connection and scale up in minutes or hours. When the crises is over, you can back off from all the virtual servers and go into a standby mode.

By the way, that cloud storage makes an excellent backup for your local files. Cloud storage is robust and almost infinitely scalable. This alone can be the justification for having a backup operation in the cloud.

What if you are in the cloud already? It’s not unknown for cloud systems to suffer outages just like anything else technical. In this case you may want to have a minimal backup system locally, in a colocation facility or set up as a private cloud in a different data center.

Hosted PBX phone systems can also keep you running after a disaster, almost like nothing ever happened. At least that’s the way your customers will perceive. it. You only need a network bandwidth connection and a few SIP phones to get your calls and voicemail. Being a network voice system, those SIP phones can be located just about anywhere... even somewhere else in the country.

Are you apprehensive that your business may not be protected from shutdown as much as you’d like? It may not be that expensive to have backup computing and telephone service in the cloud. Check options and prices now and rest easier that you have a recovery solution.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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