Gartner has recenty predicted that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today. CIOs will increasingly leverage a multitude of cloud computing providers across the entire IT stack to enable a huge variety of use cases and meet the requirements of their business unit peers. Indeed, the tides are shifting toward a “cloud-first” or even “cloud-only” policy... 

Marc Wilczek

The Opportunities And Losses Caused By Cloud Computing In Disaster Recovery

The Opportunities And Losses Caused By Cloud Computing In Disaster Recovery

Superstorm Sandy has been the center of global news through October/November, 2012. It has caused massive damage to property, loss of income, and lives. In fact, the storm has become more relevant than this last weeks US presidential race. To businesses, the storm has elucidated another debate as far as sustainability in aftermath of the disasters.

How safe is our data? How important are data backups to business recovery? How will we bounce back after the storm? How sustainable is our cloud computing policy as far as disasters are concerned? These are some of the questions policy and decision makers in businesses are grappling with in the aftermath of the raging storm.

According to experts, business and corporate leaders have to rethink how they treat disaster recovery in cloud computing terms. This article looks at the role of cloud computing in disaster recovery.

The benefits of using cloud computing as a central contingency in disaster recovery

Superstorm Sandy left many businesses cut off from the electric grid. These resulted in numerous software and hardware losses. Business owners were not only working hard to evacuate themselves to safe spots on the east coast, but they were also faced with a bigger challenge: struggling to save business data, information, documents, and hardware. Having standby servers in the wake of this disaster is not enough. The outages hit them as well. Both way, data was lost and these businesses have a slim chance for recovery after the disaster.

For those who integrated cloud computing to back up data and streamline operations during Superstorm Sandy, disaster recovery and continuity were guaranteed for a while. In fact, for businesses whose operations were purely cloud-based, continuity and recovery are not pegged on computing losses. They suffered little or no losses compared to those with local, ‘standby’ servers.

Problems with using cloud computing as the core to disaster recovery plans

Despite the fact that cloud computing offers a faster disaster recovery option for businesses, as a solution, it’s not cast in stone. For example, having a backup of the sales leads, tax files, and other information safe in the cloud seems like the easier way out for bounce back after disasters like Superstorm Sandy. These businesses still face inherent cloud challenges like security, privacy, and lack of regulation, regardless.

Solutions for disaster recovery in a cloud environment

Overall, cloud computing provides opportunities for businesses faced with disasters like the Superstorm Sandy that stroke on the US east coast. A reactionary shift to cloud computing as disaster recovery strategy is miscalculated. According to experts, large businesses need to create and have alternative contingencies for recovery after disasters because cloud computing on its own, despite giving noticeable benefits, isn’t the only total solution. As such, cloud computing should not be the sole disaster recovery plan because it’s not bullet proof. However, for small businesses, cloud computing remains a solid disaster recovery tool, according to analysts.

By Walter Bailey


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