Almost from the beginning of widespread adoption of computers, organizations realized that disaster recovery was a necessary component of their information technology (IT) plans. Business data had to be backed up, and key processes like order entry, billing, payroll and procurement needed to continue even if an organization’s data center was disabled due to a disaster. Over time, two distinct disaster recovery models emerged: dedicated and shared. Although both of these approaches were effective, they often forced organizations to choose between cost and speed.
As we fast forward 50 years to today’s “always-on” world, it is apparent that the flow of information and commerce in our global business environment never sleeps. With the demands of an around-the-clock world, organizations need to think in terms of application continuity in the face of interruptions, not just as a result of infrequent disasters. Likewise, disaster recovery service providers need to enable more seamless, nearly instantaneous failover and failback of critical business applications. Yet given the reality that most IT budgets are flat or even lower than they once were, organizations must be able to obtain these services without incurring significant up-front or ongoing expenditures.
Cloud-based business resilience can provide an attractive alternative to traditional disaster recovery, offering both the shorter recovery time associated with a dedicated infrastructure and the reduced costs that are consistent with a shared recovery model. With pay-as-you-go pricing and the ability to scale up as conditions change, cloud computing can help organizations meet the expectations of today’s frenetic, fast paced environment where IT demands continue to increase but budgets do not.
This white paper discusses traditional approaches to disaster recovery and describes how organizations can use cloud computing to help plan for both the mundane interruptions to service—such as cut power lines, server hardware failures and security breaches—as well as less frequent disasters. The paper examines key factors you should consider when planning for the transition to cloud-based business resilience and in selecting your cloud partner.
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