By Sungard AS
Although the most reliable businesses attempt to prevent disasters rather than react to them, it is inevitable that disruption will hit your organisation at some point. Data loss is one of the most damaging incidents that can occur to a business, possibly leading to both reputational damage and regulatory fines.
In the past, recovering data was a time-consuming and challenging task, but the adoption of cloud computing has made the process significantly easier. That being said, there are a number of different approaches to cloud based recovery, so we've listed five of the most effective below.
Make sure your data is backed up
It may sound obvious, but before you can recover your data on the cloud, you must first have a cloud backup strategy in place. Cloud computing is now used for a variety of services, ranging from hosting single applications to entire business infrastructures. As a result, businesses should not simply assume that because they are leveraging the cloud, they are using it to back up their data. Check with your cloud supplier if they are storing data and to what extent. It may be that you want certain information backed up indefinitely and others for only a short period time. CTOs should have a firm grasp on their cloud backup services long before disaster strikes if they wish to effectively recover their business data.
Create a disaster recovery plan
One of the best ways of ensuring that you can recover your cloud data is to set up a cloud disaster recovery plan. By undertaking a thorough assessment of your business processes, including which ones are more critical than others, businesses can determine how long it is likely to take to restore backup data, and whether certain data sets need to be prioritised. Cloud-based disaster recovery will also ensure that your core business processes are backed up as well as important data. Planning ahead enables businesses and their employees to be fully aware of the recovery process in advance, meaning that your businesses processes can be resumed as quickly as possible.
Test your backups
Another important aspect of cloud recovery is testing your backups. Fortunately, cloud disaster recovery costs as much as 50% less than traditional replication solutions, giving businesses the opportunity to test their backups more regularly. Testing not only gives CTOs peace of mind that their data is being protected, it lets them know how long the recovery process is likely to take. Check that bandwidth limitations aren't restricting your ability to access your cloud data and ensure that the necessary members of staff are aware of their roles in the recovery process. Furthermore, remember to document the test process to understand what aspects can be improved in the event of a genuine disruption. And perhaps most important of all, test regularly. Don't assume that because you've tested your cloud backups once, everything will run smoothly. Your applications and data volume can change quickly, which all affect the recovery process.
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that your data is protected is to choose a cloud provider that backs up your systems and information in real-time. At Sungard Availability Services, our Cloud Disaster Recovery service allows customers to choose whether or not to backup just their critical servers or their entire estate. All data changes are recorded, enabling businesses to restore their systems to a specific point before the disruption occurred. Also, if any of your servers fail, the Sungard AS replication service can act as your company's live environment until your own hardware is back online, making the recovery process much faster. Real-time cloud backup is vital because even a small amount of data loss could damage consumer trust in your business.
Choose your cloud supplier carefully
In order to get the best cloud recovery service, businesses must be careful when choosing their partners. The cloud computing industry has developed rapidly over the last few years and there are now many different vendors, all offering different levels of service. Do you want your cloud provider to deliver and backup your entire infrastructure or just your data? How often are you able to test your recovery systems? Discussing these matters with potential cloud providers prior to signing any contracts is crucial if businesses are to receive the security and the reliability that are so important to the digital landscape.