If there’s one thing that’s really grabbed businesses’ attention about cloud-based disaster recovery, it’s the opportunity to save money. Even for those big enough to have their own backup data centres, the prospect of moving to a pay-as-you-go solution instead of massive initial investment is enticing. And for those that were making do with on-site backups, they can get reduction in time and effort and an increase in resilience. However, cloud disaster recovery does have some limitations that organisations should know about before they send all of their data up into cyberspace.

Data must be transmitted and stored securely in the cloud, and must also be available for rapid restores in the event of a disaster. Appropriate authentication of users must be offered. The cloud provider also has to satisfy any regulatory requirements; watch out, for example, for data being transferred for storage in another country. In addition to this, the robustness of the cloud provider must be verified. The effectiveness of your disaster recovery will depend on how well they have planned their own business continuity. Alternatively, a private cloud solution using a business’s own servers connected via a virtual private network can be envisaged.

It’s still true however that public cloud disaster recovery offers small and medium-sized businesses DR possibilities that were not accessible to them before. The fail-over solutions available in the cloud are numerous and extensive. They include holding mirrored data, stand-by server configurations and even parallel live server installations. For organisations that don’t want to compromise on security or depend too much on a remote, external supplier, hybrid cloud disaster recovery solutions are also possible. In this case, an enterprise can use its own private cloud for the most sensitive applications and information, and leverage the public cloud for less critical backup and fail-over requirements.