Disaster Recovery and the Cloud: New solutions for offsite data protection
The typical backup model adopted by most companies is fairly simple: once a week, the business’s data servers are copied to magnetic tape. Incremental changes are backed up as the week progresses. In general, a full week’s tape set is regularly sent offsite. Some businesses may back up to disk as well as tape, keeping the disks local and the tapes offsite – some may abandon tape entirely and find an alternative offsite storage plan. While details vary, what remains consistent is that in the event of disaster, mission-critical data is safe. This practice is as old as data itself – it is tried and true.
In reality, what seems like an elegant backup method is not so effective when disaster strikes. The ironic truth is that data restoration is hardly as straightforward – and that IT departments planning for disaster recovery are all-too-frequently fooled by the deceptive simplicity of backing up to tape or disk. Traditional DR plans fail to adequately protect against irretrievable data loss – be it from natural disaster, software corruption, hardware failure, or simple human error. An examination of current strategies, including tape and disk based solutions, as well as alternatives in the cloud, may help companies understand how best to prepare for catastrophe.
Cloud storage has emerged as a simple and cost effective means to implement offsite data protection. The cloud offers an unlimited supply of reliable storage at a very low cost. Traditionally slow access speeds prevented the real use of the cloud in disaster recovery planning. However, modern cloud storage gateways accelerate the speed of access and can provide immediate access to data stored in the cloud.