At its most basic, a recovery cloud allows a business to recover data following a disaster. The trick is, there are varying levels of functionality from vendors that provide these services, and there’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to how cloud backup and recovery can or should work.
Most people see cloud backup as something strictly for file and folder backup, or something that also provides users with access to files from multiple devices. But cloud backup can actually offer a lot more if you think of it as a downtime elimination tool and not a basic storage or collaboration tool. When you start to dig into the possibilities, it’s easy to see how the cloud can be a profitable and even essential part of any solid backup strategy. Here are some things a true recovery cloud offers that others can’t.
The best recovery clouds aren’t just designed with dirt-cheap storage in mind. They’re designed for full, advanced protection of system networks. The best solutions are priced so that MSPs and VARs can offer affordable solutions to clients, and also make a few bucks themselves. Premium cloud services offer a great value to clients with more advanced requirements, which leads us to the next section.
Local backup is a great start, but the capabilities the cloud offers are a compelling next step for any business that has data access and security needs, whether they come from compliance concerns or good internal practices. Advanced data protection falls in a few categories when it comes to a recovery cloud.
- Instant virtualization refers to the cloud’s ability to virtualize backups from the cloud in minutes. The best vendors offer virtualization for not only a few machines, but an entire network, and have features like port forwarding, port blocking, static public and private IP address reservations. If a business suffers a large disaster, it can literally flip a switch and fail over to a secondary network running in the cloud in just minutes.
- Encryption is a huge concern these days. Between hackers and even the government, it seems our data isn’t safe from anyone. The best recovery clouds make use of military-grade encryption to ensure that data is protected in transit and at rest. This satisfies various compliance requirements, and lets IT providers and clients relax in knowing their data is only accessible by those who absolutely need it.
- Speaking of accessibility, considerations about who has access to which data and why is a concern for industries with compliance requirements. With the proper recovery cloud, an IT provider can restrict access to cloud backups completely, or allow clients to access files and folders when someone needs to recover something he or she accidentally deleted. It’s really up to the provider what types of access a client has.
- Self-service is a concept lost on some cloud vendors. If you need to create a VM in the cloud for failover purposes, the last thing you want to do is have to call a vendor and see if that’s OK. The best vendors put you in the driver’s seat so you can spin up a VM on your own without calling anyone. This reduces recovery timeframes and lets IT providers do what they need to do to get a client back on track with minimal downtime and without fumbling for vendor phone numbers.
- Mirroring is an option for extremely critical data and gives businesses an extra layer of protection. The best recovery clouds make this process simple by allowing you to upgrade to a mirroring plan regardless of what service level you currently have. This way you have data backups stored locally, in the cloud and at a secondary cloud location for extra redundancy.
- Transparency is hard to find when it comes to pricing. All too often, vendors will stick you with a data access fee when you’re in a bind. That’s why it’s important to make sure any cloud backup solution you use doesn’t have any hidden fees that might cause pricing to skyrocket when all you need is a quick, sound recovery.
A lot of IT providers just aren’t aware of the advanced features available in certain disaster recovery clouds. As with any new solution, a wise practice is to thoroughly research options so you can find something that doesn’t just meet basic requirements, but that can introduce you to new things you didn’t know were possible.
Curious what a real disaster recovery cloud can do? Sign up for a demo of StorageCraft Cloud Services.
Casey Morgan is the marketing content specialist at StorageCraft. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly, and are part of Talkin' Cloud's annual platinum sponsorship.