It surprises some to hear this, but cloud doesn’t come with disaster recovery built in. Creating and implementing a disaster recovery strategy for your cloud infrastructure is your responsibility.
Disaster Recovery-like Features in the Cloud and Their Shortcomings
There are some capabilities in the cloud that sound like disaster recovery. Cloud has high availability, and if the hardware underlying your instance goes down, your virtual machine will readily and automatically be migrated to a new physical device. That sounds like just what you need for DR, but there are several ways this falls short:
- If there’s a widespread outage, due to network, power, or other issues, you probably won’t be automatically switched over to a different region that isn’t experiencing that problem. Even if the cloud provider can do this, it may not meet your recovery objectives.
- The data backed up by the cloud provider and used for your recovery may not meet the recovery objectives for your business and your workloads. Unless you’ve got a backup and recovery agreement with your cloud provider, they may only have a backup of your most recent data. This may not enable recovery in instances like ransomware.
- If you’re using Software as a Service, you may not have access to a copy of the data to store in a different location for safety. Even with infrastructure or platform as a service, moving data out of the cloud can be difficult and expensive. Remember the 3-2-1 backup rule requires having copies of data in multiple locations!
Build Your Own Disaster Recovery Solution
The net impact of those shortcomings is that to achieve true disaster recovery capability, you need to plan and implement a solution yourself, even when your infrastructure is in the cloud. To do this, you need to add a few capabilities:
- Secondary location in another region, cloud, or data center. If there’s a network outage that prevents you from accessing data in your primary cloud, you need another site where you can connection. This can be another region of the same cloud provider, a different cloud provider, or a data center you still maintain and support.
- A complete backup and archiving strategy. You need to create and store copies of your data that will allow you to load data at a secondary site, recover from ransomware, or load historical data for analytics or compliance purposes.
- Offsite storage. Keep a copy of your data outside of your cloud to ensure you have access in case of a cloud failure.
- Unify your cloud recovery strategy with your on-premises recovery strategy. Because most businesses are not cloud-only and have a hybrid IT infrastructure, you’ll simplify your recovery solution if you have one set of tools and one strategy that covers your systems whether they’re running in the cloud or at your own site.
CCS Technology Services develops comprehensive disaster recovery solutions that protect your business wherever your data resides. Contact us to learn how we can help you develop a disaster recovery strategy for your cloud.