The cloud has done a number of things to the IT landscape, including reducing the overall cost of data storage and management. However, there are still a number of areas in development in the cloud – chief among them: security, something that has prevented a number of companies from making the switch to a cloud environment. But one thing that the cloud does offer over traditional physical servers is a more robust set of features to deal with disaster recovery and get a business up and running again. Thanks to new technology and feature sets available across the board, many small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of disaster recovery options previously only made available to large companies.
Disaster recovery is something that every business must have a plan for. An outage, virus or hack could happen at any time, and that could lead to a serious or entire loss of data at a local office. A physical server wipe-out can be combated with tape copies and backups, but these can take time to get running and may themselves become corrupted. A virtual environment offers businesses the ability to take snapshots of their current instance setup, and use these to back up data that is stored on the virtual server. A plan can be created to periodically refresh the instance so that if a disaster does occur, a current image of the server exists and can be moved into a functional state.
These recovery options are not yet perfect, and may take time to implement initially, but they give companies the ability to diagram exactly what their DR strategy will look like as well as what systems will be brought online first, and will allow them to quickly get back in the game.