Part 3 of a five-part series on what to keep in mind as you transition to the cloud: Disaster Recovery.

In part 1 of this series we took a look at security and vendor lock-in as possible concerns in moving to the cloud. In part 2 we looked at how cloud computing affects the bottom line. This week we want to consider one of the executive’s biggest concerns: how cloud computing protects you in case of emergency. Is the cloud capable of recovering data in case of disaster.

The most obvious benefits of Disaster Recovery in cloud computing are in the following areas:

  • Bundling – with virtualization, your entire server, including operating system, applications, data storage, patches etc. is bundled into one place on the virtual server. Recovery of the entire system takes place in a matter of minutes.
  • Replication – another feature of a proper cloud setup will include consistent replication on a daily and weekly basis for the entire system. Changes register on the virtual server and are copied to the backup server. The recovery will include operating system, data, and network configuration. Traditional Disaster Recovery Plans can still result in significant loss of recent data and much longer downtimes.
  • Resource Management– Depending on your business needs, resources can be precisely allocated to your most critical applications to make sure your cost stays low, but productivity remains high at all times.

Make sure you ask your IT company about their redundancy in the Disaster Recovery Plan. Redundancy in your office is usually a negative thing. Someone is doing the same work twice. It’s inefficient. In cloud computing, redundancy means your data is stored in several places. That’s intelligent. There should be more than one way for your infrastructure to be recovered. Your backups should have backups.

You also want to ask of your cloud hosting provider what the protocol is in case of disaster. Are you able to contact someone in case of emergency any time, day or night? Is there only one employee responsible for your information and able to initiate the recovery process. How fast is the response time? These considerations matter just as much as the provider’s plan to restore your  data.

If uncertainty about your Disaster Recovery Plans has kept you from migrating to the cloud, maybe it’s time to make the change. At True North, we aim to provide business leaders and IT proswith useful insight into the dynamic field of private and cloud hosting servicesIT consulting for your business needs, as well as our array of managed services to help you reach your business goals.

Please check in next week for Part 4 of our five-part series: Streamlining.