Cloud’s disaster recovery as a service

August 10th, 2016, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: EngineerIT



Iniel Dreyer

Uptime is crucial for absolutely every single organisation, no matter how large or small. If any critical business application and data becomes unavailable for a few hours, it has the potential to wreak havoc across the organisation especially the bottom line. It could be something small as a patch for the enterprise resourced planning (ERP) going horribly wrong, or something critical such as a key server going down. Or something terrible like a natural calamity such as flood, fire or even an earthquake. However, the reality is that the show must go on and organisations still expect results. The question is how? How does your business recover from a data disaster?

Iniel Dreyer at Gabsten Technologies says that for many companies from various sectors, disaster recovery readiness is rapidly emerging as a key parameter in being chosen by their clients. He said that to meet the ever-increasing demands of an environment with ever-changing needs and increasing data one needs a solution that offers a fully managed disaster recovery service in the cloud, enabling organisations to rest easy that applications and data can be recovered in minimal time, allowing business to continue as usual quickly.

For many, and in particular smaller businesses, back-up is a grudge purchase and often not given the attention it requires. “It will not happen to me” are the famous last words. The cloud is the obvious answer to back-up without having to invest in equipment. This makes the opex option so much more attractive.

However what worth is back up without recovery? Dryer believes that combining both back-up and recovery as a service in the cloud is the obvious choice. Cloud and hosted platforms are gaining traction in the local market with more confidence instilled with the uptake of these offerings and many more choice.

You back-up all your data in the cloud. You walk into the office tomorrow morning and there are no PCs and servers in sight. You have been cleaned out. Ok you think to yourself, insurance will pay for new equipment and your data sits in the cloud. But how long can you wait to become operational again? By combining data  back-up and recovery in the cloud you could be back in business within a  few hours while  new equipment is installed and all the data recovered on the new equipment.

According to Dryer, the cloud provider can recover the stored data on a system that is accessible by your company via an internet connection. Crital data may be accessed even on a tablet or laptop to ensure business can continue.  The data is continued being back-up as you work. When everything is restored the back-up is back in place including all the transactions you carried out on the cloud connection.

As compliance with various legislation becomes a priority for businesses – including the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act – it is important for companies to ensure their data is stored in the country. It is very for important to know where your data is backed-up  and the measures taken by the cloud provider to ensure it is secure and that their systems with your data is backed up elsewhere.

So to back-up is priority number one. Without a backup you are sunk if something happens. The next thing is to prioritise the data, the data required to keep the business running. What data does the company use on a daily basis, what systems are required to continue to service clients?  From there build the plan. Companies can start small and develop their back-up and recovery plan. Another important consideration is “how quickly after a disaster should the company be able to operate? How much disruption can the company afford without severely impacting on the business?

The other question companies should ask themselves is how much data they can afford to lose ? This will determine how often the data is backed up.

Dryer said that a few years ago a service was launched called CloudProtect which  leverages the benefits associated with cloud and hosted platforms, enabling businesses of any size to take advantage of an affordable “pay-as-you-consume” model. The end user customer pays per Gigabyte of data that is backed up without having to invest in infrastructure and software, and also does not have to maintain the solution.

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