Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Aria Blog, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, Virtualization, Big Data Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Should Cloud Be Part of Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan?

How Cloud enables a fast, agile and cost-effective recovery process

Recent times have witnessed a huge shift in paradigm of data storage for backup and recovery. As the legendary Steve Jobs said, "The truth lies in the Cloud" - the introduction of the Cloud has enabled the fast and agile data recovery process which is can be more efficient, flexible and cost-effective than restoring data or systems from physical drives or tapes, as is the standard practice.

Cloud backup is the new approach to data storage and backup which allows the users to store a copy of the data on an offsite server - accessible via the network. The network that hosts the server may be private or a public one, and is often managed by some third-party service provider. Therefore, the provision of cloud solution for the data recovery services is a flourishing business market whereby the service provider charges the users in exchange for server access, storage space and bandwidth, etc.

The online backup systems typically are schedule-based; however continual backup is a possibility. Depending on the requirements of the system and application, the backup is updated at preset intermittent levels; with the aim of efficient time and bandwidth utilization. The popularity of the Cloud backup (or managed backup service) business lies in the convenience it offers. The cost is reduced due to elimination of physical resources such as hard disks from the scenario with the added benefit of the automatic execution of the backup.

Cloud-based disaster recovery are a highly viable and useful approach for ensuring business continuity.  Using a completely virtualized environment and techniques such as replicated data, services such as LAN Doctors, Inc., a New Jersey-based managed backup service was able to provide 100% uptime when one of their largest clients - a major processor of insurance claims, was hit by a hurricane, lost internet connectivity - and was unable to process claims.

This kind of near-realtime "off-site" disaster recovery capability is now available to organizations of all sizes - not just those large enough to afford redundant data centers with high speed network connections.

The use of Cloud for backup and disaster recovery will grow - the increase in demand of the cloud storage is due mainly to the exponential increase in the more critical data amounts of the organizations over time. Increasingly, organizations are replicating not only data - but entire virtual systems to the Cloud.  Adding to the Cloud's advantages is the reduced price, flexibility of repeated testing and the non-rigid structure of the Cloud which gives you full opportunity to scale up or down as per your requirements.  The flexibility to restore from physical to Cloud-based virtual machine adds to the attraction.

Why Cloud Is Better
The most common traditional backup mechanism used is to store the data backup offsite.  For small business owners, sometimes that means putting a tape or disk drive in the computer bag and bringing it home.  For others, tapes/disks are sent overnight to a secure location. The most common problems with this approach are that either the data is not being stored offsite (due to human or procedural error), or else the data and systems are not being backed up frequently enough.  Furthermore, when a recovery is necessary, the media typically need to be transported back on-site.  If the data backup is stored locally, then there is the chance of a regional problem impacting the ability to recover. In retrospect, cloud offers a complete regionally-immune mechanism for online data recovery by creating a backup online at a remote site and enabling prompt data recovery when required.  Backups can be done as often as required.

Other Cloud-based recovery services include fail-over servers. In this scenario, in the event of server failure, a virtualized server and all the data can be spun up - while the failed server is recovered.

The Cloud provides significant advantages to many organizations - it enables a full data recovery mechanism by using backups, fail-over servers and a storage site remotely placed so as to keep it safe from the local or regional factors.  Meanwhile, the organizations avoid the cost and effort associated with maintaining all that backup infrastructure.

The large corporations - those which can afford redundant and remote compute capacity, and typically already have sophisticated recovery mechanisms running, can benefit by leveraging the Cloud where appropriate - and hence experience even better results than before. Of course, for a large organization to exercise and experience benefits of Cloud to its full in this area, it would need to consider the architecture and applications of their systems and the kind of technology deployed.

Or Is It?
The biggest concern for people and enterprises when it comes to the Cloud is the security of their data and the issue of their privacy.  Data from IDC show that 93 percent of US companies are backing up at least some data to the Cloud; whereas that number falls to about 63% in Western Europe and even further (57%) in Asia-Pacific region.  The biggest reason European and Asia-Pacific organizations give for not leveraging Cloud for backup?  Security.

There can also be latency issues in dealing with effectively streaming large amounts of data to the Cloud - versus (for example) having a data storage appliance with built-in deduplication and data compression.

Cloud or Local?  The Verdict
The answer is clearly "it depends".  Backup should never be treated as a "one-size fits all" thing.  Your backup and recovery mechanisms need to be matched to your particular technological and business needs.  There's simply no substitute for knowing your own requirements, the capability of various technologies, and carrying out a thorough evaluation.  Don't be surprised if you end up with both Cloud and local - some systems simply require local backup (either for business, regulatory or technological reasons).

With the average size of an organization's data growing at 40% a year, one thing is certain -  there is a lot of backing up that needs to get done, both locally and on the Cloud.

More Stories By Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis Tibbetts, or @SoftwareHollis as his 50,000+ followers know him on Twitter, is listed on various “top 100 expert lists” for a variety of topics – ranging from Cloud to Technology Marketing, Hollis is by day Evangelist & Software Technology Director at Dell Software. By night and weekends he is a commentator, speaker and all-round communicator about Software, Data and Cloud in their myriad aspects. You can also reach Hollis on LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/SoftwareHollis. His latest online venture is OnlineBackupNews - a free reference site to help organizations protect their data, applications and systems from threats. Every year IT Downtime Costs $26.5 Billion In Lost Revenue. Even with such high costs, 56% of enterprises in North America and 30% in Europe don’t have a good disaster recovery plan. Online Backup News aims to make sure you all have the news and tips needed to keep your IT Costs down and your information safe by providing best practices, technology insights, strategies, real-world examples and various tips and techniques from a variety of industry experts.

Hollis is a regularly featured blogger at ebizQ, a venue focused on enterprise technologies, with over 100,000 subscribers. He is also an author on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on protecting data: Online Backup News.
He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis

Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com

All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

Latest Stories
“We just completed the roll out of our first public and private cloud offerings, which are a combination of public, hybrid, and private cloud,” stated Erik Levitt, CEO of Open Data Centers, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 14th International Cloud Expo®, held June 10-12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Expo® 2014 Silicon Valley, November 4–6, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is causing data centers to become radically decentralized and atomized within a new paradigm known as “fog computing.” To support IoT applications, such as connected cars and smart grids, data centers' core functions will be decentralized out to the network's edges and endpoints (aka “fogs”). As this trend takes hold, Big Data analytics platforms will focus on high-volume log analysis (aka “logs”) and rely heavily on cognitive-computing algorithms (aka “cogs”) to mak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes ...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gary Hall, Chief Technology Officer, Federal Defense at Cisco S...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, it is now feasible to create a rich desktop and tuned mobile experience with a single codebase, without compromising performance or usability.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @Things...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applicatio...
VictorOps is making on-call suck less with the only collaborative alert management platform on the market. With easy on-call scheduling management, a real-time incident timeline that gives you contextual relevance around your alerts and powerful reporting features that make post-mortems more effective, VictorOps helps your IT/DevOps team solve problems faster.
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, will explain the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is r...
Companies today struggle to manage the types and volume of data their customers and employees generate and use every day. With billions of requests daily, operational consistency can be elusive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Dave McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies, will explore how a distributed systems solution, such as NoSQL, can give organizations the consistency and availability necessary to succeed with on-demand data, offering high availability at massive scale.
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, de...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focu...
SYS-CON Media announced that IBM, which offers the world’s deepest portfolio of technologies and expertise that are transforming the future of work, has launched ad campaigns on SYS-CON’s numerous online magazines such as Cloud Computing Journal, Virtualization Journal, SOA World Magazine, and IoT Journal. IBM’s campaigns focus on vendors in the technology marketplace, the future of testing, Big Data and analytics, and mobile platforms.
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...