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Cloud Computing Inspires Rethinking of Disaster Recovery

September 10, 2013 No Comments

Hurricane season, flooding, tornadoes and other severe weather threats are a reminder of just how important it is to be prepared.

In the event of a disaster, would your IT operations be back to business with the help of data centers that remain running amid the storm, transitioning from generators to utility power in the days following?

Chances are, IT operations would have some trouble staying afloat.

According to a recent study, businesses around the world are not prepared when it comes to disaster recovery. Riaan Hamman, a spokesman for a chapter of the international Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, said the results of the study weren’t encouraging.

The council found that when it comes to global disaster recovery, “the preliminary results of the study are cause for concern,” Hamman said in an article on “Around 72% of companies worldwide are at risk because they fail to prepare adequately for disaster recovery.”

Nearly three out of four companies are at risk of failing to recover from a disaster or outage; 36% of respondents said they had lost critical apps, virtual machines and critical data files for hours; and 11% of the companies had lost these for days.

The bottom line is a business needs disaster recovery planning that emphasizes backing up important databases or architecting a complex replication solution. It’s imperative to enlist the expertise of a company that can help you find your way through a disaster.

The best way to avoid downtime is to eliminate single points of failure in your configurations. As you add redundancy, your ability to recover quickly improves—and your costs increase.

Cloud computing gives organizations the opportunity to rethink many traditional IT practices, but it may be a particularly good fit for disaster recovery and business continuity.

Network World’s Editor in Chief John Dix recently discussed the subject of disaster recovery with IBM Distinguished Engineer Richard Cocchiara, who is CTO and managing partner of Consulting for IBM’s Business Continuity & Resiliency Services, for his perspective on the subject. Cocchiara leads a worldwide team that works with clients on systems availability, disaster recovery planning, business continuity management and IT governance. One of the questions posed, according to an article on, was “what are the different roles cloud can play in disaster recovery and business continuity?”

“Probably the most basic thing is backing up data offsite. Most large companies have some sort of a backup strategy, but more often than you might think companies that are not sending their data offsite or not sending it far enough offsite,” Cocchiara said. “When asked if they have checked to see what potential regional issues they might have, sometimes they find some geological or weather or some other type of potential risk that would affect their ability to recover locally. Cloud gives them the ability to store data someplace remote, store it online and to typically recover faster than from tape.”

Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting

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