12-27-21 | Blog Post

Cloud Disaster Recovery: 5 Things to Consider

Blog Posts

When it comes to making decisions about the accessibility of your company’s data, we can all agree that the higher the availability, the better. However, when downtime rears its ugly head, how can you make sure your company is back online faster? The secret lies in choosing the right disaster recovery solution. For many companies, a cloud-based DR solution is the answer, due to its flexibility, ease of deployment and quick recovery time.  Choosing a cloud DR solution is a wise move, but there’s a lot that goes into that decision, so we made a list of five things that you should consider when making the leap to a cloud-based option.

1. Application Dependency Mapping (ADM)

As GI Joe once said, “knowing is half the battle.” Knowing your application dependencies means mapping all your business’s apps to user groups, by priority of availability, and by their dependence on other applications. A well-executed map will provide you with the necessary information to gain a global perspective on your IT environment and distinguish essential, from non-essential, business practices needed in your plan.

2. Identifying Mission-Critical Systems and Applications

Using cloud DR to cover every system that your company operates might not be the best use of your resources. So, it’s a good idea to decide early on which data should be replicated first and where to do it, based on whether the information is mission-critical or not.

The goal of this exercise is to determine which data set needs to be replicated in real time versus those that can be replicated at a slower rate for business continuity purposes. Defining data sets as mission-critical and non-essential makes it easier to develop a concrete DR policy

3. RTO and RPO

A solid data replication strategy is defined by recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) by application. Basically, ask yourself how long can you be without critical workloads and how much data loss can the business reasonably absorb?

Having firm RTO and RPO for data sets helps better define your business priorities and gives you a clearer picture of how best to address recovering data and getting back online after an incident

4. Maximizing ROI of Cloud DR

Proving ROI is basic responsibility for any CIO. Deriving value from your cloud DR solution starts with identifying the core purpose for moving to the cloud in the first place.

Cloud DR helps to reduce the cost, complexity, and time it takes to replicate your most essential information, freeing your team of time-consuming manual processes and hardware standup to let them focus on higher-value activities. But if you have items that aren’t at the top of the replication priority list, why use resources to move them to the cloud at all?

Clearly outlining how, where, and by whom data is replicated will help you allocate resources and assets appropriately. From there, you can accurately measure actual numbers for hardware cost avoidance, billable man-hours, and other metrics to compare against your capital investment to arrive at an ROI figure.

5. Put your Cloud DR Plan to the Test

Things don’t always go according to plan. That’s the point of a DR policy in the first place. But even DR policies need to be put to the test and validated to ensure they’re designed for optimal effectiveness and efficiency.

Understanding how your current environment operates and how you plan to improve it with a cloud deployment will help you test for weak points in the concept.

Your concept validation should start with some basic questions:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with a cloud solution?
  • Are you using a cloud deployment for straight DR or will it also be used for testing and development?
  • How much data needs to be backed up?

Analyzing your business’s structure (“hot” DR vs. testing/development sites), needs and goals, and comparing them to your cloud DR plan is an essential step for getting the most out of your DR solution.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for some direction, or just want more information, contact an Otava specialist today and learn about customized Cloud DR Solutions that will complement your business’s availability strategy.

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