Cloud-based disaster recovery for stormy times

April 9, 2015
Cloud-based disaster recovery for stormy times

Over the last few years we’ve seen a rise in volatile weather patterns that have left thousands of businesses and homes without power. If the wind, rain and snow storms that swept across Europe earlier this year taught us one thing, it’s that being ready for any eventuality is no longer just an option, but a necessity.

Weather conditions like this may be rare in their intensity, but they demonstrate why companies must prepare for the worst.

Of course, the solution to any weather related emergency is not a ”one size fits all” approach, since company structures and business models vary so widely. However, there are some basic protocols that can be followed, which include:

• Damage control
While a potential crisis can’t necessarily be averted, it’s possible to minimise damage with planning. Before a crisis, it’s important to assess the potential risks facing your business. Consider the areas of your business that might be worst affected. What would happen if the power went down? Is the infrastructure in place for staff to work from home? How often is data backed up? Only with this insight can an effective strategy be devised.

• Briefing staff
No matter the eventuality, it is important that staff keep a clear head. This can only be achieved if the team has a clear set of guidelines to follow. If the weather makes it dangerous to travel to and from work for example, staff should be briefed on the protocols of working from an alternative location.

• Embrace the cloud
By their very nature, cloud-based IT services can make it easier, quicker, and less expensive to bounce back. Companies have tended to complain over the years that traditional disaster recovery (DR) plans have been too expensive or overly complex, especially for smaller businesses. The critical point is that this has often left companies without DR, leaving them vulnerable to data loss, and worse. Cloud is a game-changer.

That’s why we put in place a cloud-based disaster recovery service that uses the same SDDC and network virtualisation (NSX) software, which customers can buy to build their own cloud-based recovery systems.

With DR available in the hybrid cloud, barriers of cost and complexity are diminished. Our disaster recovery service, VMware vCloud® Air™ Disaster Recovery, addresses variable capacity requirements to support common DR use cases at a fraction of the cost of traditional options. The beauty is there is no cost outlay for hardware, and businesses don’t need to learn complicated new management tools. Additionally, vCloud Air Disaster Recovery offers flexible contract lengths, so businesses can get the protection at an affordable price.

The storms that swept across Europe have passed for now, but it’s only a matter of time before another one arrives. And when it does, the cloud – ironically enough – can help companies get back up and running as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

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