Take Advantage of the Public Cloud For Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions


June 12, 2013

Business Continuity PlanBusinesses are always looking for a better way to recover data after system failures. It can be costly to build a complete disaster-recovery infrastructure. So, in addition to your current backup and disaster recovery solutions, consider ways you can do this using the public cloud.

Your First Line of Defense—Local Protection

The public cloud is fantastic, however, when it comes to performing backup and recovery, the best performance will always be to use local (on-premise) resources.

Identify Systems That Are Critical to Your Business

The second line of defense should be priority and dependency based protection.  Prioritize your servers and data, and ensure that you fully understand their dependencies—such as middleware and databases. Remember to ensure that these dependencies are protected in the public cloud as well.

Don’t Just Rely On Traditional Backups for Disaster Recovery

In addition to traditional backups, remember that age-based backups can compliment or even replace traditional backups. Many recovery options are required after losing entire servers; additional backups will allow you to have availability to more recovery points to restore data.

Providing data protection locally and in the cloud is possible with replication technologies for systems that are most critical. However, replication shouldn’t be used to replace backups. For the most critical systems and applications, you can use high-availability software solutions with the public cloud.

Consider How To Meet Your Goals Using Data and Backup Restoration

You can protect everything on a your operating system by backing up the system and all the storage; this works well when you need to restore a system. It’s crucial to think about what will need to restore, and be sure to back up in a manner that will meet you needs. This may require using a backup agent that fully understands the server you’re protecting. 

Why Hypervisor Level Backups Might Not Actually Be Enough

While virtualization has given us the ability to perform backups at the hypervisor level of virtual machines (VMs), along with many other great capabilities, this type of backup will often limit your restore to a VM level only. Always try to consider running backup agents within the VM operating system as opposed to running them only on the visualization host. All VMs on a specific server will be at risk if a virtual server fails; so virtual servers are a great idea to consider when looking for a high-availability solution.

Using the Public Cloud for Long-Term Backup Storage

The most important reason data is stored, is for long-term archiving for your corporation’s needs, and to meet regulatory requirements. It can be costly to maintain long-term disk-based backups. It’s extremely important to secure your organization’s data as well; always verify the security of the solution used. For example, encryption of data on the storage, the physical security of any public cloud locations, and the separation of your organization’s data from other organizations that are using the same public cloud backup provider.

Also be sure you understand how your data is being sent over the network to the public cloud. Ensure it’s protected and encrypted during transmission to the cloud.

Using The Public Cloud to Run a Recovery

With your backup stored in the public cloud, along with your systems, data and applications, you’ll have protection in the event that you ever lose an entire site. Where should you restore the data and operating system backups if you do lose your site? In order to ensure you can get your organization back up and running, consider options such as running your systems in virtual environments, like public cloud virtual machine hosting solutions. This allows your operations to run again, regardless of not having access to your own datacenter.

Using Combined Backup and Management

Many organizations that use a public cloud are searching for a solution that supports a hybrid model while enabling a single management style approach. However, even the best solutions will fail if you’re not using them correctly; you must get into the habit of performing regular tests to ensure your restoration processes will work and your data will be protected.

Do you have questions about the business cloud backup solutions and securing your information either on premise or online?  Give us a call, we are your team of trusted technology advisors and we are ready to help you make a sound business decisions regarding your IT systems.

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

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