Using The Cloud For Better Business Continuity

Using The Cloud For Better Business Continuity

Using The Cloud For Better Business Continuity

Planning for your cloud application or website to go down seems like it should be a no brainer. We assume that every business is aptly prepared; in fact most people reading this probably believe theirs is. It is, right? Right? Turns out it only takes one extreme incident to show us that keeping websites and applications online no matter what the circumstance really is an after thought for many organizations. For instance, sites like Gawker, Gizmodo, and Huffington Post all went down during Hurricane Sandy last fall, as did hundreds of other businesses’ critical infrastructure. While I can’t speculate as to what kinds of IT practices these businesses had in place, we can assume their business continuity planning wasn’t as strong as it could have been – despite being in a region of the country that gets hit with hurricanes on an annual basis.

Now it’s one thing for websites to go down, it’s another thing for applications that house critical data – that needs to be accessed on a dime – to suddenly be inaccessible. Depending on the industry, the risks of this inaccessibility can be grave. For instance, the stakes for healthcare, eCommerce platforms and SaaS/PaaS solutions providers are extremely high if data suddenly becomes unavailable.

Think about it – natural and unnatural disasters strike every day, everywhere in the world. We can count on it. Yet businesses still leave their data at risk of being “lost,” if even for a short time. In an era when about everything lives in the cloud, BCP can no longer be left on the back burner. Here are some ways businesses can leverage the cloud for smarter BCP.

Resources on Demand

Businesses used to balk at BCP simply because of the time it took to implement such a plan. Ordering new hardware, provisioning circuits and signing contracts with a colocation provider could literally take months. The cloud removes all of those steps. Organizations can literally spin up a virtualized machine within minutes in another location, resulting in very little to no downtime. The instant spin up and switch down aspect of the cloud is particularly handy when preparing for seasonal events like hurricanes. These tend to hit the coast at about the same time every year and subside a couple of months later. An IT director could replicate his environment a month before the hurricane season starts, stand it up in a region that is untouched by hurricanes (like Arizona), and turn the deployment down a month or two later. If the season is a little prolonged than usual, there is no need, as with a traditional hosting contract, to sign up for another year, when the environment could be used for only a couple of weeks.

Better and more resources for efficient failover means cloud infrastructure is perfect for replicating applications and databases across a multitude of environments and geographically diverse infrastructure. This enablement means enterprises can easily redirect their traffic to any number of failover facilities using DNS management, thus greatly lowering the risk. This amazing agility can make the preplanning and nominal additional cost worthwhile. The geographical diversity of cloud providers is key here. Tornado risk in the mid-west? Move the workload to an east coast cloud node. Hurricane risk on the east coast? Replicate the workload to a cloud node in Arizona. Earthquake risk in California? Re-locate to a node in Texas. None of this is a hassle with cloud infrastructure.

Redundancy no longer costs an arm and a leg

Cost has been a huge factor that prevents businesses of every size from implementing effective business continuity plans. The cloud makes this a moot (or at least much more palatable) point.

Hot / Cold business continuity configuration – As mentioned, when the cloud is used for BC solutions, resources like processors, RAM, and storage allocations can remain practically dormant until the moment the business needs them, at which time, these resources can be scaled up quickly to manage the production load. A cloud business continuity solution can be deployed so quickly that active users (on the website or application) don’t even notice a blip. With cloud, enterprises and SMBs alike can now have BC plans with global infrastructure in place without breaking the budget.

Hot / Hot business continuity configurationDNS management tools enable IT stakeholders to mirror a production hosting environment, in its entirety, to a secondary location. The geo-location features of DNS can play a role here too, providing a performance boost as requests can be routed via load-balancing to the most local production node. Running two deployments ‘live-live’ where Web servers and possibly even data base servers share the load between the two locations, is a good option for highly transactional businesses, where even a moment of interruption leads to revenue loss.

It’s remarkable how many companies still rely on traditional (dare I say outdated) back up practices such as weekly back up to tape. Cloud can be a game changer for IT, lowering the price of a business continuity solutions, while at the same time providing more businesses better access to robust and protective options quickly.

danielbeazer

 

By Daniel Beazer

Daniel Beazer has an extensive history of research and strategy with hosting and cloud organizations.  As director of strategy at FireHost, Daniel Beazer oversees interactions with enterprise and strategic customers. In this role, he identifies pain points that are unique to high-level customers and utilises his significant knowledge of cloud computing and hosting to help them. 

 

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

5 Responses to Using The Cloud For Better Business Continuity

  1. Nice post, Use of technology and use of technology in a right way are two different things and yes if we don’t use them in a right way  then these advantages can convert into a big loss too. As a part of a software company that provides cloud computing services I also very well knows that how this next generation technology is bringing a lot to us that can helps in providing best solutions to our clientele.

  2. It’s an impressive achievement: to be able to relocate
    business operations using a virtual environment in a matter of moments.
    Environment replication is easy with Virtual Disaster Recovery (VDR), a key
    feature of Dakota Backup and Recovery’s latest remote offsite data protection
    software. Specifically, consider the healthcare industry… for the patient, health and vitality could be endangered by compromised hospital/clinic/pharmaceutical access to critical data in the case of a
    disaster like Hurricane Sandy that results in system downtime. With VDR, a
    virtual replication of this vital data and operating system can be ‘spun
    up’ in a alternative location in a matter of moments. As a result, downtime is
    nearly non-existent, and patient care is not jeopardized by data loss.

  3. Great article. The cloud is leveling the playing field especially for those organizations that were priced out of traditional enterprise capabilities like BCP and DR. Another game changer the cloud enables as you mentioned is proactive failover (or as Forrester likes to call it, Business IT Resiliency). Have a planned building outage or server maintenance? Flip a switch and move to the cloud and then fail back when things are complete.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

What is the 12/12 Program?

This program is designed to better handle the thousands of requests we receive from people looking to submit articles. The 12/12 program is the commitment of 12 articles delivered over a 12-month period.  

Wait! What if I just want to submit one article?

Our popular pay as you go sponsorship program provides the flexibility to submit as you wish and is designed for all budgets.

Contributors

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened to Google Glass? It was supposed to be the next big thing in tech so where did it go? Last year you could not go anywhere without hearing about some insane new use for the product and now it seems to have vanished in a plume of smoke. A Lackluster Rollout Back

Posted on by

Big Data

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries The poor of the developing countries are becoming increasingly connected, to the point where they too are part of the Big Data revolution that’s happening across the globe. It didn’t come with laptops, though, as some supposed it would. Whereas it costs a fortune to connect broadband to a

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data in Your Garden Big Data and IoT initiatives are springing up all across the globe, making cities, protesters–and just about everything else–smarter. However, thus far there’s been little attention paid to the interactions between these bizarre technologies and living things other than humans. Biology, that is, human biology is one field where Big

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Big Data and City Management Cities like New York, Madrid, and especially Rio de Janeiro are augmented with Big Data-powered initiatives that range from combating crime with predictive analytics (New York & Madrid) to providing real-time data for improved management. Although Big Data is no panacea and is mainly used in conjunction with a greater

Internet of Things

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital? We all know the capitals of fashion are London, New York and Paris, while the capital of film is Hollywood (or Bollywood!) – but what’s the new capital of the internet? Specifically, the internet of things? The answer – according to new research by Ozy – might surprise you. It’s not Tokyo, Seoul,

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities And Big Data As Anthony Townsend argues in his SMART CITIES, even though the communications industry has changed beyond recognition since its inception, the way we consume power has remained stubbornly anachronistic. The rules of physics are, of course, partially to blame, for making grid networks harder to decentralize, as opposed to communication

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Loves What Steve Ballmer Once Despised

Why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Loves What Steve Ballmer Once Despised

“I don’t want to fight old battles,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “I want to fight new ones.” It’s Sunday evening, and Nadella is sitting in a glass-enclosed room at the back of a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, eating sushi with a few reporters. The post Why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Loves

Apple sales soar after record-breaking iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch

Apple sales soar after record-breaking iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch

The US tech giant reported a 16 per cent jump in iPhone sales between July and September, and the strongest growth in Mac computer shipments in years. Read the source article at dailymail.co.uk About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of

Q&A: Intel’s Take on Chinese Startups, Innovation

Q&A: Intel’s Take on Chinese Startups, Innovation

Intel’s venture-capital arm on Tuesday said it would be investing $28 million in five Chinese startups that work on new technologies ranging from wearable devices to iris detection. It is Intel Capital’s first infusion from a $100 million China fund launched in April … Read the source article at WSJ Blogs About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized