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
Investing In The Future With The Introduction of Sage Cloud

Investing In The Future With The Introduction of Sage Cloud

CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwired – Jul 26, 2016) – Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software, announced today at Sage Summit 2016 its strong commitment to future technologies, with a focus on new and existing partnerships that power business growth. Revealed during CEO Stephen Kelly’s keynote address, which opened the world’s largest gathering of entrepreneurs and…

2016 Tour de France: Racing With Big Data

2016 Tour de France: Racing With Big Data

2016 Tour de France The 2016 Tour de France has just concluded, with Chris Froome (SKY) taking his third overall win. Not the kind of event we often focus on here at CloudTweaks, but Dimension Data has put its analytics technology to use tracking the journeys of each rider across all 21 stages, and their…

Ransomware: A Digital Pandemic – Is There A Cure?

Ransomware: A Digital Pandemic – Is There A Cure?

The Rise Of Ransomware You can imagine the scene: you’ve just completed that business plan and a set of accounts. Finally, it’s done and saved, ready for a final read through and to be sent out to your contact list. And right when you’re ready to click “Send”, the next thing you see on the…

Martech In A Content Crazed World

Martech In A Content Crazed World

Content Crazed World Everywhere you look there are pop-up ads and offers, at times it can feel like overload. What used to be a few online ads on websites has now grown into a wild world of offers that consume your every device. These advancements in marketing technology can not only be overwhelming to the…

Hubgets – Advanced Collaboration, Enriched Communication

Hubgets – Advanced Collaboration, Enriched Communication

Advanced Collaboration Tool Sponsored series provided in collaboration with Hubgets Collaboration tools have advanced leaps and bounds with the advent of cloud technology, and the services available are only getting better. Promising features such as sophisticated group communication, productive management of tasks and meetings, and the ultimate dream, working remotely from some gorgeous island destination, innovative collaboration…

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…

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Four Keys For Telecoms Competing In A Digital World

Competing in a Digital World Telecoms, otherwise largely known as Communications Service Providers (CSPs), have traditionally made the lion’s share of their revenue from providing pipes and infrastructure. Now CSPs face increased competition, not so much from each other, but with digital service providers (DSPs) like Netflix, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, all of whom…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring

Internet Of Things – Industrial Robots And Virtual Monitoring One of the hottest topics in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the Internet of Things (IOT). According to the report of International Telecommunication Union (2012), “the Internet of things can be perceived as a vision with technological and societal implications. It is considered as a…

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

The Storytelling Machine: Big Content and Big Data

Bridging The Gap Between Big Content and Big Data Advances in cloud computing, along with the big data movement, have transformed the business IT landscape. Leveraging the cloud, companies are now afforded on demand capacity and mobile accessibility to their business-critical systems and information. At the same time, the amount of structured and unstructured data…

Cloud Computing Is Greener Than You Think

Cloud Computing Is Greener Than You Think

Cloud Computing Is Greener Than You Think Last week we touched upon how a project in Finland had blended two of the world’s most important industries, cloud computing and green technology, to produce a data centre that used nearby sea water to both cool their servers and heat local homes.  Despite such positive environmental projects, there…

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

4 Industries Being Transformed By The Internet of Things

Compelling IoT Industries Every year, more and more media organizations race to predict the trends that will come to shape the online landscape over the next twelve months. Many of these are wild and outlandish and should be consumed with a pinch of salt, yet others stand out for their sober and well-researched judgements. Online…

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

Cloud Computing Checklist For Startups

Checklist For Startups  There are many people who aspire to do great things in this world and see new technologies such as Cloud computing and Internet of Things as a tremendous offering to help bridge and showcase their ideas. The Time Is Now This is a perfect time for highly ambitious startups to make some…

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Report: Enterprise Cloud Computing Moves Into Mature Growth Phase

Verizon Cloud Report Enterprises using the cloud, even for mission-critical projects, is no longer new or unusual. It’s now firmly established as a reliable workhorse for an organization and one that can deliver great value and drive transformation. That’s according to a new report from Verizon entitled “State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016.” which…