Business continuity is the measure of successful disaster recovery.
Disasters can be measured in many ways. Some of these are obvious: lives lost, dollars cost, property destroyed, time spent rebuilding. But from a business perspective, the key factor is business continuity. If a company can operate during the disaster, and survives and is able to rebuild, then the disaster becomes part of, rather than the end of, the company history.
The point is, normal measures of disaster severity don’t apply directly to businesses. If you rebuild after a devastating flood and maintain the business line, then that’s a triumph. But if you spill coffee in the server and have to go offline for several days, lose a key customer, and go under, then even that trivial “disaster” is catastrophic from the company perspective. It’s important to remember that disaster recovery is concerned with protecting your operations and your business in the event of an unexpected disaster of any kind. But as many readers will know, many businesses do not implement such plans in time – they find the necessary preparations either too expensive or too complex. Fortunately, cloud hosting technology addresses several common concerns about disaster preparedness, and a cloud infrastructure can put you in a stronger position to weather all sorts of unexpected problems, from power outages and hardware failure to floods, fires, and earthquakes. The key disaster-recovery benefits of cloud servers come from two fundamental consequences of the cloud implementation:
Moving important computing services and infrastructure off-site, to a secure and redundant location.
When you establish a cloud-based resource for your company, your data is automatically off-site; secured from office mishaps, break-ins, and natural disasters. Data can be mirrored across redundant sites for additional security.
Providing backup and maintenance as part of the hosting solution.
In addition, cloud server hosting automatically ensures that your data is securely stored on well-maintained systems with a dedicated support team. By definition, this team knows your system extremely well, and they can supplement or supplant your own in-house IT staff for disaster recovery functions.
Short of building a completely redundant ‘hot site’ in another city, cloud hosting provides the most comprehensive disaster preparedness solution possible, and does so at a fraction of the cost of an in-house team. In our next post we will discuss some of the advantages of cloud-based systems vs. an alternate business site.