So, you moved into the Cloud, now what?
Cloud-based infrastructure solutions are already changing the way many organisations are flexing and scaling their infrastructures. What was once an expensive and uncompromising way of implementing and maintaining a HA/DR solution, could now be a walk in the park.
It’s best to remind ourselves of the distinction between the two solutions if we are to consider how they are used in the Cloud. High Availability (HA) solutions ensure minimal disruptions to business activities, relying mainly on server replication to make sure that if the system fails, another server can come to the rescue. This is mainly due to hardware failure, but not infrastructure failure, the kind that can bring down your entire system. A Disaster Recovery (DR) solution will give protection against power outages, cooling system issues and infrastructure failures – a more expansive range of protection.
Cloud-based HA/DR Solutions
So, what about Cloud-based HA/DR solutions over the traditions mentioned above? In two words: affordability and simplicity.
With Cloud-based solution – no need to buy a secondary production server, perhaps worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Don’t forget that there’s the maintenance of the server, the software cost, support and licensing too. A Cloud-based solution doesn’t require the resources required to manage and maintain any additional systems. You only must pay for the resources used. In the event of a disaster, additional resources are automatically allocated.
Some organisations require Cold DR when it comes to the time a system needs to be restored. This is generally because it’s less expensive. However, think of the complexities involved here with Cold DR. When disaster strikes, a team needs to ‘go’ to the disaster recovery site with the backup tapes and set up all the equipment and networking, attempting to bring the applications back online. This could take a week, if not weeks of work!
Cloud technology will simply reduce the time to recovery. Rather than having to ‘go’ and send that team to that site, space is reserved in the Cloud so network connectivity can be set up and tested. A backup copy can be stored by the Cloud vendor with help documentation outlining the process for restoring the customer system. This restoration can be reduced from a week(s) to a day and since space in the Cloud is reserved, the customer only pays for the resources they need during a declaration.
Counting the Cost
Of course, there is a need to consider the prosperity of adopting the Cloud-based solution. Assessing an organisations requirement right at the outset is vital. For example, it’s good to consider the maximum acceptable time to recovery or how long a business can go without accessing its systems. What is the cost of downtime (lost revenue, reduced productivity etc) compared with the cost of the Cloud-based HA/DR solution?
A major challenge to the Cloud-based HA/DR solution is to sell it to the upper management and highlight the risks versus the costs. “IT staff need to communicate that tape backup will not restore the databases to the original condition”, notes Simon O’Sullivan, co-founder and executive vice president at Maxava. He continues, “the reality is that a DR solution based on tape will probably mean several days outage and typically the loss of up to a day’s data.”
Clearly, there are many factors to take into account when a final choice is to be made, predominantly equating to cost versus risk. For more information read our blog on “The four 9s of Availability”.
How can Open Minds help?
Open Minds HAS has been in the industry for more than twenty years. We have been providing cost-effective data protection solutions to businesses across the world. Open Minds HAS can help you in replicating, migrating and protecting your data across multiple servers. Using the DataKeeper solution will allow you to build innovative solutions to safeguard your shared-nothing clusters constructively.
To know more about how we can help you protect your essential data conveniently, get in touch with us today by clicking here.