Cloud Business Featured Article
BC/DR Needs Drive Cloud BusinessJanuary 10, 2013
By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing
When natural disasters occur, buildings can be repaired or even replaced if necessary, but business-critical data can be lost forever – seriously impeding a company’s ability to continue in the wake of a serious weather event like a hurricane or tornado.
Last fall, after Superstorm Sandy pummeled its way through the Northeast, millions were left without power, cable and phones for days on end – many people lost their homes and businesses and are still trying to rebuild. For many organizations, it was a lesson learned the hard way as IT leaders are now seriously evaluating whether their BC/DR plans are enough – or if they aren’t at all.
In fact, one of the drivers of cloud adoption is the need for business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR), with more businesses putting their software and data into the cloud – or seriously considering doing so.
However, Sandy was so powerful that it took down several major cloud computing companies, including Amazon Web Services (News - Alert), for a period of time – proving that even the cloud is not always tough enough to weather a serious storm. But in reality, most cloud businesses are more resistant to extreme weather than on-premise servers, with generators kicking in shortly after a disaster strikes.
“At several data centers along the eastern seaboard, data centers lost grid-based power but then immediately switched over to emergency generators,” IT consultant Robert Shaw explained in a blog post. “For many cloud companies, it was only when their generators were running out of fuel that they began shutting down servers. Such an organized shutdown is far safer than sudden power disruptions at a typical home or office, which are often responsible for hardware damage and data corruption.”
Meanwhile, cloud businesses like Reis Information Systems in Canada are helping more businesses use the cloud. Putting information in the cloud not only helps businesses in the event of a disaster, it allows them to reduce the cost of buying and maintaining their own servers, according to Henrique Reis, the company’s founder.
“The clients love the fact that they don’t have to manage the hardware,” Reis told The Record.
Because BC/DR is often an expensive endeavor, many businesses hope to skate by without incident, and try to remember to back up all of their mission-critical data. But the onset of cloud-based storage has given businesses a more affordable and reliable option for backup service.
While Amazon is a popular storage option for many businesses, Reis contends that many of his clients prefer to store their data at his firm in Canada, which has data centers in Waterloo, Ottawa and Edmonton.
If anything was learned by businesses in the aftermath of Sandy, it’s that IT decision makers should consider bringing in an experienced cloud business to help their team address potential challenges and implement a solid BC/DR strategy.
Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically towards small to medium-sized businesses? Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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