When we talk about cloud computing and the possibility for disaster, we tend to think of large environmental disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes), or man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks. And this may lead us to think that the possibility of losing our data and applications in case of disaster is infinitesimal. Unless your data resides in an area especially prone to earthquakes or flooding, it is unlikely that major disaster will strike. And yet, the possibility of losing your data is actually likely, because of human error: data stores could be accidentally deleted, dropped or moved where they cannot be found. This type of disaster is quite common. So, how does the cloud protect you?
Cloud computing is based on virtualization. The entire server, including the OS, applications and data, is actually in a virtual server. And this virtual server can be backed up to an offsite data center and then, if needed, transferred to a second data center. And if you prefer to have your data and applications on-site, you can also protect your data against disaster through cloud backup. This type of hybrid backup provides protection if something happens to your business location that may impact both the original data and the local copy. In this way you can have the best of both worlds.
We said the cloud gives companies backup of data, fail-over of servers, and the ability to have a secondary center in a far enough location. But we should also mention one other thing, and that is that, thanks to the cloud, companies have the ability to store their business continuity plans offsite. After all, the whole point of business continuity plans is that they should not be lost in a disaster. Those plans are critical and if they’re stored on a system in the primary center, how are you going to run the recovery if you can’t get to the system? The cloud gives you the ability to store those plans and the notification scripts on a server you can access from your laptop anywhere you can access the cloud. This is surely the ultimate in disaster recovery in the cloud.