02 Jun 2014

Hybrid Cloud; The Ultimate DR Solution

Disaster Recovery (DR) is an insurance policy that is, for all intents and purposes, mandatory. And yet, it’s also a remarkably inefficient way to spend an organisation’s limited IT budget.

It’s not wasted money – after all, should a disaster actually occur you’re going to be very glad that you’ve got a DR strategy in place. But, DR does feel like wasted expenditure, especially when it’s an annual part of the budget that sees no return on investment during those years where there are no disasters. Those years are great for business, but by the same token they make for a challenging internal sell when the IT team need to request additional budget from the executive management.

With climate disasters affecting organisations throughout Australia in recent years, DR has had a renewed focus, but customers are looking for more efficient ways to invest in a DR solution; one that is preferably easier to sell internally.

That’s where hybrid cloud comes in.

Rather than being a self-contained investment, a hybrid cloud can leverage DR as part of the overall expenditure. In other words, it’s an add-on to an existing solution that does deliver immediate and consistent returns. By utilising hybrid cloud, an organisation is able to utilise a lot of their DR solution without spending money on hardware and datacentres that then sit unused.

Furthermore, the pay-as-you go model of hybrid cloud makes full DR solutions more affordable for a smaller organisation that might lack the capital to invest in an enterprise-grade DR solution. By utilising the replication components of hybrid cloud services, the SMEs of Australia will stand in a more competitive and prepared space in the event of a disaster.

With that being said, there are a few things organisations need to be prepared for in order for a hybrid cloud DR service to be effective;

1)      The cloud provider needs to be offering a service that is properly integrated. Some hybrid cloud services are really treated as two distinct clouds – a private and a public cloud – with some app migration capabilities between them. For a hybrid cloud DR solution to work, the hybrid cloud needs to offer a seamless extension of the datacentre, including services like authentication, replication and automation to enable easy recovery of services.

2)      It should go without saying, but the hybrid cloud provider also has to offer the utmost in security reliability. The very nature of DR means that the most critical of data needs to be stored in a second site, and in a hybrid cloud DR solution, that second site is a third party provider.

3)      Easy testing through the hybrid cloud service portal and automation is a key component, after all, an untested DR strategy is not a solution!

A recent research report found that Recovery-as-a-Service’s global market can be expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 54.64% over the next four years The reasons why we can expect such dramatic growth is clear; it’s the best opportunity for SMEs to develop enterprise-class DR solutions within their constrained budgets, and it’s the best way for enterprises to move away from an investment “wastage.”