Are disaster recovery and cloud redundant?


Are disaster recovery and cloud redundant?

Cloud Risk & Security

Many consider disaster recovery (DR) and cloud computing as redundant investments. Indeed, enterprises are often told by some providers that DR is built into the cloud infrastructure, and that the cloud provides all you need to keep your data safe. Based on what I’ve seen, this turns out not to be entirely true.

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

It’s understandable that some business leaders want to believe that cloud could completely eliminate the need for DR safeguards. Comprehensive DR strategies with the correct enabling technology are uncommon these days. Most businesses view DR as too costly, and even if they make the investment they may lack the staff to maintain those systems. With the arrival of affordable cloud native DR technology, many are now rethinking the role of DR and data protection.

It’s time to reevaluate the ways we want to leverage data protection, and, more importantly, address what’s changed and what’s evolving. As with any new tech, companies need to be open to change but evaluate “the next big thing” with a critical eye.

The new on-demand model for DR and/or data protection comes directly from the public cloud and offers several game-changing benefits:

  • Improved data center operations and economics, considering that this is an “on-demand service” and thus supports a lower cost and as-needed usage model.
  • As more and more enterprises implement multi-cloud strategies, new DR technology supports the increased use of “many cloud” architectures and its accompanying complexity.
  • Emerging patterns leverage highly distributed, and in some cases, international resources. IT resources are no longer in a single geographic location and the workforce is mobile.

The current movement is to largely heterogenous data storage, with many of the new databases and storage systems purpose-built and bound to specific applications. This has increased the number and types of databases, from in-memory databases for high speed transaction processing to analytical databases that provide an understanding of the business.

The tendency is to build business applications (including data storage) on whatever seems to be the right or trending solutions at the time. This includes containers, serverless, big data, predictive analytics, and cognitive systems that represent the latest trends taking place while the applications are being built. These trends confound the role that DR has to play in core systems and data protection because the end-points are constantly being redefined.

A few things are certain at this point. First, we cannot stop the disruption brought by cloud computing. Second, many database and application developers will continue to think short-term, embracing new tech as the cure for all business ailments. Finally, the current movement towards hybrid and multi-cloud strategies increases cloud complexity, which increases the risk that some or most of the data will go unprotected. Cloud offers some promising advantages for enterprises grappling with DR, but it may raise as many questions as it answers.



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