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Why should you invest in cloud-based disaster recovery solutions?

7/27/2016 11:20:13 AM

Cloud-based tools are making disaster recovery strategies more flexible and accessible for smaller companies. In fact, according to TechTarget contributor Alex Barrett, the cloud is making DR strategies more common thanks to its cost-effective nature. Smaller businesses that normally wouldn't have the resources required to put an effective DR plan in place are discovering that by putting all of their data in virtual DR environments, they have a better chance of maintaining business continuity in the event of a disaster, whether manmade or natural.

"[T]he public cloud has pushed DR one step further, using cloud computing advantages to remove the need for a dedicated remote location and hardware altogether," Barrett wrote. "Further, the cloud's pay-for-use model reduces monthly charges, prompting organizations to pay for protection only when they need it."

There are plenty of reasons organizations should consider backing up their data and applications to virtual environments, and enhanced accessibility is certainly one of them. When the unthinkable happens, it's critical that employees are able to get to the information necessary to do their jobs. Why should companies invest in the cloud, beyond the accessibility factor? Let's take a look:

1. Cost-effective solutions

TechTarget reported that cloud vendors usually charge for storage on a pay-per-use model, which basically means that you're only paying for the cloud space you're actively utilizing. Instead of physical servers, which you purchase and then place in a location waiting to be used, the cloud is truly a flexible solution – because you're only paying for what you use. Therefore, you're avoiding the massive capital expenditures that it would cost for an on-premises solution in favor of a more operational model.

Cloud-based disaster recovery solutions are more cost-effective than on-premises options.Cloud-based disaster recovery solutions are more cost-effective than on-premises options.

2. High availability

What happens when disaster strikes, but a business doesn't have a continuity plan in place? Microsoft Azure deployments are known for being highly available because companies put strategies in place for these applications to absorb outages, according to Azure blog contributor Adam Glick. What's more, organizations of literally any size are able to utilize cloud backups to enhance their business continuity plans.

3. Scalable plans

One of the most important benefits of the cloud itself is its ability to scale with a business as it grows. In other words, as companies transform and expand, instead of having to buy new physical equipment to add to a data center or server room, they can simply add to their cloud strategies. This makes it easier to create DR plans that change along with a specific organization's growth. The reverse is possible, as well – for those organizations that are looking to decrease their footprint or simply scale back, they can reduce the size of their cloud deployments and save money.

4. Database recovery

If your organization has partnered with Microsoft for use of its SQL Server database software, there's more good news about a cloud-based DR plan: You can implement a strategy that will cover your databases, as well. SQL Database includes different capabilities that augment DR efforts, including automated backups and optional database replication.

5. Enhanced RTO and RPO

When organizations make a DR plan, they have to take into account their recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives. Barrett wrote in a separate TechTarget article that cloud-based tools can decrease the time it takes to recover from a disaster event from weeks to mere days, but sometimes that isn't enough. So it's critical to assess your RTO and RPO metrics to see how to make the best out of your deployments.

"Azure deployments offer organizations a way to support their DR strategies."

Azure DR tools

To take advantage of the DR strategies commonly utilized by small businesses, it's important to find a partner capable of performing an effective technology assessment to see what your company could benefit from the most. Microsoft Azure deployments -– which are growing at a rate of 120,000 new subscriptions per month, the company announced at the Build 2016 conference in March – can enhance any DR plan.

"Cloud platforms, such as Azure, provide geographically dispersed regions around the world," Glick wrote. "These platforms also provide capabilities that support availability and a variety of disaster recovery scenarios. Now, every mission-critical cloud application can be given due consideration for disaster proofing of the system. Azure has resiliency and disaster recovery built in to many of its services."

Therefore, Azure deployments offer organizations a way to support their DR strategies and enhance how they do business. With Azure, it's easy for companies to spin up virtual machines or increase the number of instances running in these environments.

For more information about how your company can take advantage of Microsoft Azure deployments to augment your disaster recovery plans, get in touch with the technology experts at Apptix today.

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