Cloud Computing vs. Hurricanes: Disaster Recovery Done Right
These days, more and more of your customers are switching from cumbersome, slow and expensive tape backup to a disk-to-disk solution. For the most part, disk backup is perfect for smaller businesses or remote outposts of larger businesses. It’s fast and affordable, and as technology improves, it’s become even safer than tape backup. And of course, disk backup happens onsite, which can be an incredible advantage when it comes to recovering data quickly. However, in the event of a natural disaster, onsite backup can be an incredible disadvantage. Here’s why.
If a company suffers damage in a storm, hurricane, fire, tornado, etc., the stored data is likely damaged as well. That said, June 1 marked the official beginning of hurricane season, and if you’re not offering your customers a disaster recovery (DR) plan with an offsite element, you’re doing them a disservice, and missing a great sales opportunity for yourself. While many customers are still leaning on physical recovery centers, you’ll be doing them a favor if you persuade them to move to the cloud. Selling Cloud DR services will increase your trusted advisor status, plus increase your monthly recurring revenue streams.
Why the Cloud?
Too many companies store all their data in one place or have a data storage center that is too close to the home office. Unfortunately, that leaves data incredibly vulnerable to the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Depending on the severity, a hurricane can demolish a town — or the entire coast of Florida. When that happens, local backup centers are either destroyed or inaccessible. Explain to your customers that storing data in the cloud eliminates the concern that something will happen their physical disks.
It also makes it possible for their businesses to be operational almost immediately, enabling employees to work remotely. With a few clicks and no travel, an IT person can restore all the necessary data. When you sell cloud-connected backup and recovery services, you can assure your customers that business can continue as usual – even in the event of a hurricane.
But How Much Time and Money Does it Require?
For mid-market companies, being able to work quickly and frugally is imperative. With cloud-connected backup, data is saved to disks and the cloud simultaneously – which means no extra steps for your customers – and often fewer employees are required to manage and execute the data storage process. The cloud-connected solution you offer will be less expensive than tape options, not only in terms of the technology itself, but also in terms of the labor and manpower that’s saved by eliminating the tedious process of managing tapes.
In fact, an Efficient Agency Report conducted by CDW-Government found that government agencies had 50 % savings in time and money when they switched to cloud-connected backup. You can assure your customers they’ll see ROI when they move their data to the cloud.
And of course, most importantly, in the event of disaster like a hurricane, restoring from the cloud is faster than restoring from a remote location. Many of your customers have already realized this, so make sure you’re offering best solutions. Present them with options that will be truly fail-proof should a hurricane occur, such as one that guarantees full recovery within four hours.
Is It Really Safe?
Some companies still have questions about whether the cloud is truly safe and secure. Many banks, healthcare companies and law firms — companies legally required to protect data — trust the cloud with their data. Thanks to advances in technology enabling completely secure networks, the cloud is as safe as a physical server, disk or tape.
That said, a cloud-connected solution needs to include service as part of the package. To begin, the provider should be an active partner while a company is establishing the new system, helping troubleshoot along the way. And of course, a good cloud-connected backup provider should guarantee 24/7/365 service in the event of an emergency. When a company is hit with an emergency, it needs a partner working with them to get things up and running as soon as possible. Service-Level agreements (SLAs) are a necessary part of the package.
Ultimately, when it comes to insuring data against the threat of natural disaster, cloud-connected backup offers a distinct advantage. Your customers are likely already considering a move to the cloud, so it’s essential that you’re highly knowledgeable on the subject and are able to recommend the best solutions on the market. When you help your customers protect their valuable data, you not only increase your revenue stream, but also establish your credibility for the long-term.
Terry Cunningham is president and general manager of EVault, and honored as a 2011 CRN Channel Chief. The EVault Cloud-Connected Service Provider Program was name a “5-Star Program” in the 2011 CRN Partner Guide.