Bandwidth speed and cost, and perceived security are discouraging companies from moving their disaster recovery (DR) and BCP operations to the cloud, according to industry experts.
“Although bandwidth cost is dropping, it is still an expensive commodity. As such, when a company employs a public cloud service, bandwidth is often not high. This makes recovery a challenging task. As for security, some companies would view flowing data over the public Internet as unsafe,” says Kevin Tan, Director, Pantropic Online.
“As a cloud service provider, we welcome legislation. This will push companies to consider seriously if the cloud is a viable solution for a proper DR and BCP strategy. On the flip side, it will also ensure that service providers do not provide a service that will not stand up to scrutiny.”
To address concerns regarding security and cost, Pantropic launched their ATEGO BCP Hub, a hybrid cloud backup and disaster recovery solution, combining the company’s ATEGO Enterprise service with the connectivity of the Equinix Cloud Exchange.
ATEGO BCP Hub allows companies to take advantage of the on-demand nature of public cloud without giving up the speed and security of a private network. There are costs savings involved and it is agentless – which means there is no need to install software agents on the target machine that needs to be backed-up. The fact that it is totally automated means time is saved and it is highly secure because the data remains encrypted during transmission offsite and is stored in private infrastructure hosted at Equinix.
“With ATEGO’s BCP Hub, speed is not an issue as we connect to Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX). This allows data to flow at LAN speed and therefore ensure that recovery can be quick. As for security, we have the ability to use MPLS or point to point VPNs to ensure safe connectivity,” says Tan.
The companies explained that ATEGO BCP Hub is an application-aware managed service that allows customers to perform automated agentless backup and recovery of their structured and unstructured data, in a highly reliable and secure cloud environment.
“Disaster recovery in the cloud is as important, if not more so, than corporate insurance. Disaster recovery should always be on, there shouldn’t be any downtime for backup. When planning for disaster recovery, scaling up and scaling down should also be taken into account, in addition to the physical location, or country, of where you chose to put your IT,” said Clement Goh, Managing Director – South Asia, Equinix.
Factors to consider when planning a DR strategy
Meanwhile, Tan says there are many areas to look at when planning a DR strategy. Some of the areas to watch out for would be:
- Assessing the Business Impact and Risks that the organization will face. How the impact will translate to dollars and the amount of budget to invest in a proper DR strategy.
- Completeness of the strategy. Ensuring that all aspects of the recovery is covered.
- Ease of returning back to production status. Failing over to a DR site is 75% of the strategy. To complete it, the strategy has to take into account the failback as well. There should be consideration given and a process that documents the return production status.
- Testing the strategy regularly. It is often not a focus but performing DR exercises annually is as critical as having a plan in place. This is to ensure that the plan works, and to identify areas that need revision. It is an opportunity also to get the entire organization ready and trained for an actual disaster.
- Getting everyone in the organization on board. From management to the lower ranks in the organization, everyone needs to be trained and be ready to face an actual disaster.