Don’t Recover From A Disaster – Prevent One

Don’t Recover From A Disaster – Prevent One

Recover From A Disaster

Protect your cloud with the right disaster prevention plan

When it comes to the cloud, convenience and reliability have always been two of its most shining traits. According to a recent AT&T report, 62 percent of businesses use cloud services for business continuity – an unexpected but understandable number. Just as a well-performing cloud delivers speed and accessibility when it comes to critical data, its virtualized infrastructure makes it a natural solution for disaster preparedness.

Yet in a year of high-profile outages, many businesses have been taking a second look at their incident response plans. This year alone has seen outages from Amazon, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft – brands that most of us associate with uptime and reliability. Watching the titans of cloud environments experience failure has left many businesses uneasy.

data-recovery

The cost of even a brief outage can be extreme. Some media outlets estimated that Amazon’s 49-minute outage cost the company upwards of $5 million in revenue. Dropbox’s reputation for reliable cloud storage took a hit when their customers were unable to access their documents for a full 16 hours – the first of two outages this year. The truth is that even minor downtime can impact consumer trust. And irate customers who find an error message in lieu of their social media profiles or shopping carts often vent their frustrations on forums and social networks, further defacing the brand.

The key to preventing this kind of catastrophe: a strong disaster prevention plan, whereby a cloud infrastructure is configured to ensure the continuity of IT services and business processes.

Cloud crisis protection – what level do you need?

Businesses understand the need to keep their cloud-based platforms running and available even in the event of a large-scale failure. Whether it’s an external attack or an internal datacenter or infrastructure issue, the right disaster prevention solution can mitigate downtime and provide critical services. But if you’re like many IT pros, you might not be sure of what level of protection you need.

Typically there are three disaster prevention levels. Choosing the right one depends on your business’s Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and its tolerance level of downtime.  Take a look at the practices and benefits of each to identify on the optimal solution for your specific organization:.

Hot/Cold: This configuration covers the basic needs for continuity in the cloud, but also has the longest RTO. A typical Hot/Cold solution would be a single server located in a remote datacenter where file and database backups are shipped and stored on a regular basis. This plan is founded on the premise of having backups on hand with the recovery expectation being 24 or more hours. What this means on a practical level: in the event of a disaster, additional services would need to be brought online and updated, with the data from the backups imported to the new environment. Hosting a notification page during a downtime event is also advisable.

  • Ideal business profile: This is generally a good starting point for small to medium business or startups working with a limited budget. If this sounds like you, consider your uptime needs. Can you accept 24 hours of downtime? If your environment isn’t web-facing, such as an internal app, or is a non-critical information website, a disaster prevention plan may be the right option. The primary criteria here is that an outage won’t have a large-scale financial impact on your business.

Hot/Warm: This disaster prevention solution provides a medium RTO, meaning that a full restoration of services can range from minutes to a few hours (depending on the configuration), during which time a baseline of limited services is available. Typically, a Hot/Warm environment consists of a replicated production environment in terms of server count, but with the resources scaled down to minimal levels. This mirror site would be hosted at a remote facility with a mechanism to provide active failover, such as with DNS active/failover products. If your cloud hosting provider has the ability to automatically scale resources on demand, this is even better as the server can grab additional resources as needed when the failover event happens.

  • Ideal business profile: This solution can be used for businesses of all sizes, but is especially suited to companies that would like to keep some services available no matter what, while accepting downtime for others. Can your business get by with a backup site that offers a limited number of features while your issue is being resolved? If so, this might be the option for you. But if you require little-to-no downtime, there is a better approach.

Hot/Hot: This is the gold-standard of a disaster prevention posture as it provides maximum failure resiliency and allows for additional benefits such as higher capacity, Geo-Load balancing and fault tolerance. A typical infrastructure would include two or more production environments located in isolated datacenters, with full data replication from files to databases. DNS Traffic Management or Advanced Traffic management platforms can provide both the Geo-Load balancing capabilities and the ability to prevent a failed environment from actively serving traffic.

  • Ideal business profile: Companies that can’t afford any impact to their user base. If you require maximum uptime and know that even a brief outage would damage your reputation and sales, then this is your safest option. Even in the event of an attack or internal crisis, your site will stay up with all of its features available and offer a seamless user experience.

While assessing your risk level and uptime needs are essential steps in choosing the right disaster prevention plan, don’t forget to take other basic steps to protect yourself. Making simple changes within your environment can minimize problems down the road, such as replicating files across production environments and avoiding data collision. If your site accepts user-generated content, consider making developmental changes to the application to ensure that no problems or conflicts arise. Even basic changes can mitigate some of the worst repercussions of a large-scale failure.

Finally, remember that the right plan for your business can be accessible from both a budget and implementation standpoint. Intelligent disaster prevention is about preparation – taking the right actions now to avoid costly measures later in the wake of a catastrophe. By acting on the criteria above, you can get started on an appropriate plan to safeguard your environment, your brand and your user experience.

By Dustin Larmier, Senior Solutions Architect, FireHost

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Fully Autonomous Cars: How’s It REALLY Going To Work?

Fully Autonomous Cars: How’s It REALLY Going To Work?

Pros and Cons and What the Experts Think Science fiction meets reality, and modern civilization is excitedly looking forward to the ubiquity of self-driving cars. However, an omnipresence of fully autonomous cars won’t happen as quickly as even some hopeful experts anticipate. While the autonomous car pros versus the cons race (See infographic discovered via…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bottlenecking

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Bottlenecking

By David Fletcher Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to our original comic sources is greatly appreciated.

Recent Articles - Posted by
Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Systems, Advancements and Investments

Fintech Growth According to a recent report, global investment in fintech companies including both venture-backed and non-venture-backed businesses reached $9.4 billion in the second quarter of 2016; investment in venture capital-backed fintech startups, however, fell by 49%. Nevertheless, the Pulse of Fintech, published jointly by KPMG International and CB Insights, suggests venture capital investment in…

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud Enterprise

Securing The Cloud Enterprise Cloud adoption is accelerating for most enterprises, and cloud computing is becoming an integral part of enterprise IT and security infrastructure. Based on current adoption trends, it’s clear that the vast majority of new applications purchased by organizations will be SaaS applications. The allure is evident, from cost savings to speed…

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Using Cloud Technology In The Education Industry

Education Tech and the Cloud Arguably one of society’s most important functions, teaching can still seem antiquated at times. Many schools still function similarly to how they did five or 10 years ago, which is surprising considering the amount of technical innovation we’ve seen in the past decade. Education is an industry ripe for innovation…

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise File Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise File Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap: What Is Your Core Strength?

The Security Gap You’re out of your mind if you think blocking access to file sharing services is filling a security gap. You’re out of your mind if you think making people jump through hoops like Citrix and VPNs to get at content is secure. You’re out of your mind if you think putting your…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better. The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software…

5 Essential Cloud Skills That Could Make Or Break Your IT Career

5 Essential Cloud Skills That Could Make Or Break Your IT Career

5 Essential Cloud Skills Cloud technology has completely changed the infrastructure and internal landscape of both small businesses and large corporations alike. No professionals in any industry understand this better than IT pros. In a cutthroat field like IT, candidates have to be multi-faceted and well-versed in the cloud universe. Employers want to know that…

Cloud Security: The Top 8 Risks According To ENISA

Cloud Security: The Top 8 Risks According To ENISA

Cloud Security Risks Does security in the cloud ever bother you? It would be weird if it didn’t. Cloud computing has a lot of benefits, but also a lot of risks if done in the wrong way. So what are the most important risks? The European Network Information Security Agency did extensive research on that,…

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Using Big Data To Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential

Big Data To Analyze Using Big Data to Analyze Venture Capitalists’ Ability To Recognize Potential For those who are regularly involved with SMEs, venture capital, and company valuations, it is common knowledge that start-ups that exit for more than $1 billion dollars are extremely rare – often termed ‘unicorn’ companies. Despite their rarity, it should…

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Low Cost Cloud Computing Gives Rise To Startups

Balancing The Playing Field For Startups According to a Goldman Sachs report, cloud infrastructure and platform spending could reach $43 billion by 2018, which is up $16 billion from last year, representing a growth of around 30% from 2013 said the analyst. This phenomenal growth is laying the foundation for a new breed of startup…