by : OpSourced Support Team
November 23, 2022
If you own a business that stores any kind of data, a data breach or storage issue could be highly detrimental to your business. Cloud disasters are caused by various factors and can occur anytime without warning. It’s essential to have a cloud disaster recovery strategy to ensure your data stays protected at all times.
Traditional disaster recovery plans are still common. However, we like to take a cloud-based disaster recovery approach. Disaster recovery in the cloud offers much more security and flexibility, particularly if a company is smaller or doesn’t have a dedicated in-office server.
OpSourced offers cloud disaster recovery setups with customizable options to fit your business’s needs. We have a unique disaster recovery strategy that we implement, in addition to a typical plan, to protect your data from ransomware and keep it easily accessible to you. If you are interested in cloud disaster recovery, contact us today to discuss how we can create a plan tailored to your needs.
Before you can understand what cloud-based disaster recovery includes, it’s important to know what is involved in a cloud-based disaster. A disaster is any event that slows down or interrupts the continuity of a company’s system or network. Although you may think of hackers or a technology failure at first, a disaster could also be the result of a natural disaster or a human error.
Disaster recovery is a set of policies and procedures to prepare for, recover from, and lessen the impact of disasters affecting your applications and their critical data. The goal of a disaster recovery plan is recovering data and the continuing operation of your technology and systems.
Cloud-based disaster recovery is a disaster recovery system that is set up and based in the cloud. Cloud-based disaster recovery is a way to leverage modern cloud environments and technologies to maximize security, availability, and recovery options across multiple geographic locations so that no matter what happens, you’re covered.
Cloud Disaster Recovery vs. Traditional Disaster Recovery
Cloud and traditional disaster recovery plans are very similar. However, there are some differences that might make one option of disaster recovery better suited for you, depending on your situation and needs.
In order to support a traditional disaster recovery plan, there are some requirements that you must provide on your end, which can be pricey for both smaller companies and large database needs.
• Dedicated Server Facility
• Limited Server Capacity
• Highly Complex
• High Cost
• Less Scalability
Traditional disaster recovery requires a dedicated facility. If you opt to have physical servers for your applications and data, you need to have somewhere you can store them with any other IT infrastructure and staff. You also need to be aware of your server capacity. Your servers need to have a large enough capacity to provide the correct level of service and store all the information your business needs.
Your level of internet and bandwidth is also significant because it provides remote access to your secondary data center. Additionally, your network infrastructure is important because it provides traditional disaster recovery plans with a consistent connection between the data centers and allows the data to be available.
Traditional disaster recovery plans can be very complex and expensive to manage and maintain. Using traditional disaster recovery with on-site servers offers less scalability than a cloud-based plan. Scalability gives your disaster recovery plan flexibility and options to expand as your database grows and changes. You will need to purchase additional servers and equipment to expand your server capacity should you pursue a traditional route.
Cloud services for disaster recovery can offer solutions to issues that might make traditional disaster recovery less appealing for your business. For instance, a cloud-based disaster recovery strategy can help save you time and money because you don’t need a dedicated server facility.
Cloud disaster recovery also allows greater flexibility. You can have access to more or less server capacity depending on your current needs without purchasing more equipment or setting it up. Cloud vendors also offer flexible pricing, so your server capacity can be paid for on various plans.
Using a cloud-based disaster recovery plan allows quick access to your information in the event of a disaster. You can access your servers from anywhere, anytime, as long as you have a working internet connection. Storing your information in the cloud also means that your servers don’t have a single point of failure. Cloud servers store data in various geographic locations and are constantly working to improve their security and infrastructure.
Cloud servers also provide the added security of the option to use encryption at rest. Data that is at rest and just being stored used to be an easy target for hackers without encryption. Encryption at rest is the encryption of stored data so that it is protected from a system compromise. With cloud providers’ encryption at rest, a process that used to be very difficult to automate is now simple. Cloud providers now have managed keys and services for encryption at rest. All you have to do for your data to be encrypted is to choose to utilize that option.
Multi-region disaster recovery strategies utilize cloud resources in different regions of the country. Your workload handles full capacity in two different regions, one as your primary storage and the other as your secondary. With this disaster recovery strategy, you maintain identical workloads in both cloud regions. Your primary server functions as the main production workload, and your secondary as a real-time backup. This can be a costly disaster recovery strategy, but it ensures that an outage won’t impact your business operations.
Multi-cloud disaster recovery strategies involve using two different cloud providers’ servers. This type of disaster recovery strategy can be a lot more cost-effective. With a multi-cloud system, you can use your secondary server as cold storage, where you periodically backup data that can be deployed during a downtime event. Your secondary server can also run idle or active services for a faster recovery time in the event of a disaster.
Multi-cloud disaster recovery can also provide smaller, essential workloads within a few minutes to keep critical data and applications available during an outage. This kind of recovery strategy will typically be more expensive than a cold storage multi-cloud plan.
Cloud Disaster Recovery Best Practices
If you’re interested in using a cloud-based disaster recovery strategy, there are a few things you should be aware of that can help. Before you create a disaster recovery plan and invest time or money into it, it’s important that you understand your infrastructure.
Understanding your infrastructure can mean a few different things. It’s essential to know your assets and what equipment you already use to ensure that your cloud-based system is compatible with your current system. When evaluating your infrastructure, you must be aware of the value and type of data you possess. Extremely sensitive data could change the level of security on your disaster recovery plan.
It’s important to note that having a backup does not necessarily make it useful for some data. If your data is encrypted with a key that doesn’t exist in your other environment, that data is no longer accessible. It’s important to understand the limitations of your data storage and implement an effective backup for the specific service or data type.
You should also make sure you know where your data is currently being stored. When creating a disaster recovery plan, the main focus is on how you can continue to access your data and keep your servers running as needed in the event of a disaster.
At OpSourced, we follow best practices while creating plans for our clients by anticipating potential risks or threats your data might face. This helps us build plans to eliminate or minimize these risks for the future. Unfortunately, there will always be risks you can’t prepare for, but having an OpSourced recovery plan in the cloud gives you extra flexibility and security when last-minute disasters occur.
Understand the Limitations of Your Business
When creating your disaster recovery plan for cloud services, the type of data you have and the function of your business or servers define how your plan will function.
The RTO is the maximum time your application or servers can stay offline before your business operations are impacted. If you have a service that is constantly using and communicating with your servers, you will have a shorter RTO than if your servers are simply used to store information.
RPO focuses on how long you can operate during a major crisis or disruption before the amount of data lost impacts business continuity. The time measured in RPO is the amount of time since the last reliable backup.
Several things can define your RPO. The size of your business or the type of business may dictate the frequency at which you need your data to be backed up.
Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan
RTO and RPO are two of the major factors that determine the scope of a disaster recovery plan. Having a general idea of your RTO and RPO needs can help ensure that your disaster recovery plan is optimized for your business.
There are a variety of disaster recovery strategies and focuses. At OpSourced, our primary focus in a disaster recovery plan is creating a system that protects your data so your business is safe in the event of a critical incident involving your infrastructure, and that the recovery process is as quick and painless as possible.
A hot disaster recovery strategy involves building out an environment as close to the primary as possible and setting up data replication so that in a critical situation only a tiny window of data is lost, and recovery is as simple as firing up the servers, deploying the latest code, and updating DNS. A cold disaster recovery strategy would involve just data replication and during a critical incident would require spinning up replacement resources, running any necessary provisioning and deploy processes and then pointing them to the backups or replica.
We often recommend using a cold disaster recovery plan, or a hybrid of the two, because it is a lot easier for you to maintain and is usually the cheaper option. But they’re not the right solution for every business. Working with an expert team of disaster recovery specialists can help you find the right solution for your business needs.
When choosing your cloud service provider, using a well-known provider offers several advantages. A trusted cloud service provider offers more reliability and is typically easier to use. This helps provide peace of mind that your information is being stored securely and is easily accessible to you. More established cloud service providers tend to have faster recovery speeds with more scalability and flexibility in their server space.
OpSourced has experience working with the top reliable, and well-known cloud service providers. Should you choose to work with us as your cloud disaster recovery strategy consultant, we will use our knowledge and experience to select a cloud service provider that fits your needs, works best with your current configuration, and can scale for future growth..
Once you’ve selected a provider and have a cloud computing disaster recovery plan, it’s important that you make your plan accessible, and run regular data verification and disaster recovery drills. Your plan should have standard guidelines with instructions written down and placed somewhere that is easily accessible to anyone who might need it in an emergency.
How to Start Using Cloud Disaster Recovery
Having a disaster recovery strategy in place is extremely important for the security of your data. Outsourcing the setup of your recovery plan to OpSourced guarantees that your plan will be handled by experienced engineers, giving your team the time to focus on other needs of your business.
We are a DevOps consulting company with over 15 years of experience helping companies set up and maintain world-class infrastructures, including secure disaster recovery plans in the cloud. We regularly test our implementations to ensure everything is running smoothly and can train your team how to use the system. Contact us today to discuss how we can create a disaster recovery plan for you!