When Disaster Strikes: It’s Easier Than You Think to Protect Your Organization - Page 2
Maintaining a secondary data center is also expensive and out of the reach of many smaller organizations. The need for high availability may be just as important to the well being of a $50M company as it is for a $50B organization. In both cases, a significant disruption will jeopardize the viability of the organization. Industry statistics report that around 25% of businesses never recover after a significant failure. As an example, the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 impacted 350 businesses of which 150 of them ended up going out of business which is around 43%. No matter which number you subscribe to, the risk of going out of business due to a significant failure is very real. Because the smaller organizations do not have the same financial resources at their disposal, they need to look at more creative solutions to address their needs. Today, third party cloud computing offers a viable alternative.
There are many vendors who offer disaster recovery services in the cloud. Many of these are now offering production cloud services as well, but they started in DR. The important part is to pick your vendor carefully. They will become your partner and you need to feel comfortable running your production services from their location for some period of time while in disaster mode. The selection process is similar to that of picking a colocation vendor. However, one big difference between partnering with a colocation vendor and a cloud vender is relocating from one cloud vendor to another is easier then relocating your colocation site.
Making the move to the cloud is fairly easy; assuming you have heavily leveraged virtualization (and if you haven’t, why not?). Even with the ease of adoption, careful DR planning and testing are still required.
With third party cloud computing options, you have no capital expenditures and no additional personnel requirements. You are only going to pay for what you use in the form of server instances and storage usage which will fall into operational expenses. Increasing and decreasing utilization will have a direct effect on the monthly cost. In this model you are not concerned with underutilizing or over utilizing your own data center resources – That becomes the vendor’s concern.
When it comes time to evaluate your disaster recovery options, take a serious look at the cloud. It offers some interesting alternatives to the traditional secondary data center. You may even find opportunities to move some production into the cloud as well. Cloud computing is rapidly maturing and appears here to stay. If it continues on its current trajectory, organizations with private data centers will be in the minority. But that’s another story...