How to Plan an Effective Cloud Disaster Recovery Strategy?

By Veritis

Plan an Effective Cloud Disaster Recovery

In a world where technology drives almost every aspect of our lives, the cloud has really elevated this experience.

From undertaking complex operational workloads to executing large scale cloud disaster recovery plans, the cloud has made our day-to-day operations relatively effortless.

Coming to a complex task like managing a cloud disaster recovery, the cloud has made us ponder how difficult it was to carry out a disaster recovery plan, before its arrival.

Let’s consider the time and resources invested in a data disaster recovery plan.

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If your primary data center were to be affected by a disaster, you would have to look up to the backup data center and refer to the conventional disaster recovery plan, which of course comes with double the work including:

  • Setting up a physical location and facilities to house your IT infrastructure
  • Engaging contact persons and security personnel for the setup
  • Enhancing server capacity to store data and match your applications scaling requirements
  • Provisioning support staff for infrastructure maintenance
  • Facilitating internet connectivity with enough bandwidth to run applications
  • Setup network infrastructure including firewalls, load balancers, routers and switches

This data disaster recovery will sum up to spiraling costs and unmanageable resources, leaving the data center as just a data backup and nothing more.

With the dawn of cloud computing, cloud disaster recovery has become just another effortless task that can be taken care of in a couple of hours or minutes.

A Cloud Disaster Recovery services offers organizations several benefits including:

  • Saves Time/Capital
  • More Data Backup Location Options
  • Easy to Implement with High Reliability
  • Scalability

For organizations considering cloud disaster recovery for the first time and are wondering where to start, here’s an easy cloud disaster recovery plan that will help you plan an effective disaster recovery service:

Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan

Step 1: Understand Your Infrastructure & Outline Any Risks

To create an effective disaster recovery plan, it is essential to consider your IT infrastructure, including the assets, equipment, and the data you possess.

It’s also important to assess where all this is stored and how much it is all worth and only then can you tailor a good cloud disaster recovery plan. Once you’ve got this aspect sorted. You now need to evaluate the risks that might affect all this. Risks can include natural disasters, data theft and power outages, among others.

Now that you have an account of all your assets, their quantities and possible disaster threats to them, you are in a better position to design your data disaster recovery plan to eliminate/minimize these risks.

Step 2: Conduct a Business Impact Analysis

A business impact analysis is next on the list. This will give you an understanding of the limitations of your business operations once disaster strikes and you can take them into consideration while forming the cloud disaster recovery plan.

Following two parameters help you assess this factor:

a) Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
b) Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

Parameters that Assess Data Loss Risk

a) Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

In terms of cloud disaster recovery, RTO is the maximum time that your application can stay offline before beginning to affect your business operations.

Scenario 1: If your company is dedicated to fast-paced service delivery, then an application failure can cost you heavy losses.

Moreover, you’ll have to invest heavily in an IT disaster recovery plan to resume business operations in a matter of minutes.

Scenario 2: If you have a medium-paced business and disaster affects your operations, you can still find alternative ways to carry out business operations.

Therefore, you can set your RTO for as long as one week in your disaster recovery plan. In such a case, you will not have to invest many resources into the data disaster recovery, thus saving ample time to acquire sufficient disaster recovery cloud solution resources after the disaster strikes.

Knowing your RTO is very important as it equivalent to the number of resources you have to invest in your disaster recovery plan, as the time lost in the RTO can be used to gather backup resources.

b) Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

RPO is the maximum amount of time for which you can bear data loss from your application due to a major crisis.

Points to consider for determining RPO:

  1. Possible data loss when disaster strikes
  2. Possible time loss before the data compromise

If you apply the scenario mentioned above, your RPO can be as little as five minutes, as your business is critical and cannot afford more than the specified amount of time-lapse.

Whereas for Scenario 2, you may want to backup your data but since the data isn’t time-sensitive, you will not have to invest heavily in cloud disaster recovery solutions.

Step 3: Creating a Disaster Recovery plan based on your RPO and RTO

Now that you have determined your RPO and RTO, you can now focus on designing a system to meet your IT Disaster Recovery plan goals.

You can choose from the below range of Disaster Recovery strategies to implement your IT Disaster Recovery plan:

  • Backup and Restore
  • Pilot Light Approach
  • Warm Standby
  • Full replication in the Cloud
  • Multi-Cloud Option

You can use a combination of these approaches to your benefit or exclusively as per your business requirement.

Step 4: Approach the Right Cloud Partner

After you have considered creating cloud disaster recovery plan, the next steps should be to look for a trusted cloud service provider that will help in the deployment.

If you plan to use the full replication in the Cloud, then you would like to consider the following factors to assess an ideal cloud provider:

  • Reliability
  • Speed of Recovery
  • Usability
  • Simplicity in Setup and Recovery
  • Scalability
  • Security Compliance

Factors to Assess an Ideal Cloud Provider

All the big cloud service providers including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM have cloud disaster recovery solutions. Besides these big firms, there are also medium and small firms that offer quality Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).

Step 5: Build Your Cloud DR Infrastructure

After consulting a cloud disaster recovery service partner, you can work with the provider to implement your design and setup your disaster recovery plan.

Based on the disaster recovery strategies you select, there are several logistical aspects to consider:

  • What is the quantity of infrastructure components you will require?
  • By what means will you copy the data to the cloud?
  • What are the best ways to approach user authentication and access management?
  • What security and compliance best practices will you need to setup?
  • What security measures will you put in place to minimize the likelihood of disasters?

Remember! It is crucial to ensure your disaster recovery plan is aligned with your RTO and RPO specifications for smooth business operations.

Step 6: Put Your Disaster Recovery Plan on Paper

It is important to have a standard guideline or process flowchart with specific instructions for each and everyone involved in your IT disaster recovery plan. When a disaster occurs, each individual should be ready to take charge of the responsibility as per his role in the cloud disaster recovery services.

Moreover, every instruction should be clearly stated on paper, with the finest details mentioned.

These steps ensure the effectiveness of the cloud disaster recovery plan.

Step 7: Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan Often

Since your cloud disaster recovery plan is on paper, the next step would involve testing your IT discovery recovery plan and more often. This helps to ensure that there are no loopholes.

On paper, the disaster recovery plan may look like the most comprehensive one, but you will know its credibility only after testing.

Your first test may not go as likely as you thought it would be, it may be worse. But then you will learn from these experiences and will upgrade your disaster recovery as a service to better brace up your infrastructure against potential disasters.

The bigger your disaster recovery plan, the more important it becomes to test it. Coming to the frequency of your tests, it is recommended that you run your DR tests every quarter.

Meanwhile, you can monitor and analyze your backup infrastructure performance on a daily or weekly basis.

Your organization will always be a witness to change in terms of people, processes and technologies. It is good to test your cloud disaster recovery solutions throughout these changes to ensure that business is ever-ready for an emergency.

A complete knowledge on the industry’s best practices keeps your organization on a safer side. Have you identified your cloud platform? Looking for a trusted DRaaS provider?

Get in touch with Stevie Award Winner Veritis to understand the various disaster recovery strategies and identify the one that suits your business requirement!

With more than 10+ years of experience and 100+ projects to its credit, Veritis has the expertise and insight to deploy various cloud provider customized DRaaS offerings including AzureGCP and AWS.

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Cloud Disaster Recovery – FAQs

There are times when Cloud goes under the weather. Causes such as natural disasters to breaches trigger cloud outages, resulting in data loss and impairing the operations.

Disaster recovery enables the data recovery and allows you to restart the impaired operations.

Disaster recovery as a service or DRaaS is a model which enables companies to store backups and the infrastructure in third-party cloud environments. The company relies on third-party management for disaster recovery mitigation.

The major pro is that your data will be safe, and your backups will be there to rescue you out of the tight spot. However, you would have to rely on a third party to elicit these services.

This is why Fortune 500 companies and emerging companies rely on Veritis to provide robust DRaaS that are customized and cost-effective.

One should understand the infrastructure and outline the potential and existing risks in the business. Additionally, one should tailor a plan with realistic Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives.

Doing this is relatively tough, and it is better to rely on an experienced MSP such as Veritis.

There is no such thing as the best and right disaster recovery solution. While there is a general process to follow, Veritis sculpts the best recovery solutions after understanding the intricacies of the client’s business.
Multiple tools are compatible with various cloud offerings and infrastructures. From MS Azure Site Recovery to Acronis, there is a state of the art tools which Veritis relies upon to execute disaster recoveries.
Data is everything, and if a disaster sets you back, the costs involved in bringing the business back to life will be massive. Therefore, disaster recovery is pertinent to save various unwanted expenses and ensure swift recovery time.

Listed below are the options you can choose for your disaster:

  1. Backup and Restore
  2. Pilot Light Approach
  3. Warm Standby
  4. Full replication in the Cloud
  5. Multi-Cloud Option
An MSP, such as Veritis, will be a good disaster recovery consultant with expertise in disaster recovery.

A business operation runs on more than data as one requires software and various other components. A backup will simply allow you to store the data.

A cloud disaster recovery allows you to create a recovery image that can effectively restore important operations.

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