How the cloud can help your business in a disaster

Disaster!

It can strike at any time and without warning, From fire or flood all the way to a zombie apocalypse a disaster can take out your business. How quickly you can get back up and running is key and that’s where your disaster recovery plan comes into play and we will look at how the cloud can help your business in a disaster.

In years gone by being able to store all your data off-site and have backup servers running in a datacentre in another state or country were luxuries only large companies could afford. Now by utilizing cloud technology any business no matter how small has these options.

There are companies out there specializing in offering disaster recovery as a service or you can look to do it yourself. If you choose this method here are a few options and things to consider

Data Backups:

First prioritize your data so you know which is the most important to restore quickly to get up and running. You can then backup this data to your off-site cloud server at regular intervals, How often will depend on how vital it is the data is as close to live as possible if a disaster strikes contrasted with the cost for storage and bandwidth transferring that data.

Backup Servers:

Once you have your data you still need the servers to run your applications etc. With the cloud you can easily take regular snapshots of your production servers so that in the event of an emergency you can move to the cloud and start up one of these snapshots and your servers are back online in a matter of minutes.

With many of the cloud server providers you only pay for what you actually use, so in normal operating parameters you only pay for the storage of your backups of data and snapshots of servers. You wont be paying for the backup servers themselves until you actually need them making the cloud a very cost effective disaster recovery solution.

Test:

A disaster recovery plan is great, but you must test that it works regularly and meets your needs. Do a regular check that you can switch quickly to your backup servers in the cloud and restore the most recent data. Does everything still work, can you meet your business needs and how long did it take to get up and running again.

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