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Disaster Recovery Plan: Clouds or Data Centers?

It’s 11:30 at night. It’s been raining all day heavily, and you’re just about to go to bed. But then your phone rings. The office flooded, and it destroyed every single computer and server.

For many businesses, this would be the end of the line. Close shop because everything is gone: customer information, internal data, business plans. But not you. Why?

You have a disaster recovery plan.

Well, you will after reading this article at least. We’ll discuss what disaster recovery is for businesses. Then we’ll explain how you can prepare for the worst using clouds and data centers to your advantage.

Read on for more.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Before we get started, let’s discuss what disaster recovery is in general. Although not something you’ll learn about in business school, it might be the most crucial step for your team to take when creating a business strategy.

In short, a disaster recovery plan is the steps your business would take in the event of an emergency. Regarding IT, a disaster recovery plan is what you’ll do if a disaster impacts your IT.

These are some of the most common types of disasters that might affect your technology:

Disaster recovery is concerned with ensuring your business has a plan if (more likely, when) one of these disasters strikes. This plan includes setting a recovery time goal, identifying key personnel, developing procedures, and more.

One of the major decisions is deciding what disaster recovery site you want to use. This location will be where you’ll retrieve your business’ data if a disaster happens.

People in the industry traditionally think of a disaster recovery site as a physical location in a data center that stores servers. But cloud disaster recovery is also an option businesses have begun utilizing. Let’s start by discussing clouds for disaster recovery.

Public Cloud for Disaster Recovery

Cloud storage is the most common type of data storage that everyone uses, whether they know it or not. Google Drive, iCloud, Microsoft Azure, Facebook, and more are all stored on a public cloud.

So naturally, your business likely uses a private cloud. Even if you only use Teams, you have information in the cloud.

Using the cloud for disaster recovery is different than using the cloud in general. If you want to use the cloud for disaster recovery, you’ll need to create a process that automatically uploads all of your business data to it.

It’s easy to upload your files to an online cloud, but this doesn’t work for disaster recovery. Unless you’re manually uploading data daily, you will lose it if an emergency occurs.

So, you’ll need to set up your company’s information with the public cloud you choose. This setup can be time-consuming, but disaster recovery plans are. You could do this by yourself, but it’s best to get help from a good IT firm.

The risk to a public cloud is that it can be less secure than other options. Public clouds, even the best ones, go down regularly, and security issues come up all the time because the public clouds are high-value targets.

However, public clouds are great if you don’t follow strict certifications like HIPAA or SOC. Businesses that need extra security might want to hang on and consider our next topic: data centers.

Data Centers for Disaster Recovery

Data centers are buildings or rooms that host IT equipment for data storage. Servers, switches, and power supplies all exist within a data center.

Nearly all data leads back to a data center. Public clouds are in data centers that belong to the cloud provider. Every action you’ve taken online has gone through a data center.

The exception to this is if you use a private server. Many businesses do choose to have a private server in their office, but this is dangerous. If one of the disasters mentioned before happened, your business would lose everything stored on that server.

You might be wondering why someone would choose a data center over a cloud if they both lead to the same place, and that makes sense. There are two main benefits to a data center though. Let’s discuss those now.

Colocation

Colocation is the process of moving your business’ servers to a data center. For companies that already use private servers, this usually makes the most sense.

Data centers are hyper-secure, and because they only exist to protect data, data centers equip them with the best tools to protect them from any disaster situation. Fire suppression, armed guards, water-protected cabinets, and biometric security access help keep servers safe.

Private Cloud

Businesses that don’t have dedicated servers might be interested in a private cloud. A private cloud works just like a public cloud. The difference is that private clouds are custom for your business. This lets you build something that skips the features you don’t need and include the tools you want.

Whether it’s colocation or private cloud storage, data center storage is the best option for most businesses that need to comply with strict restrictions.

Both colocation and private clouds can be very expensive. For medium-to-large businesses, medical providers, and financial organizations, these expenses are sometimes just the cost of doing business. But for smaller firms, colocation probably isn’t your best choice.

The Best Solution: Hybrid Clouds

Possibly the biggest buzzword in the IT circles today is “hybrid.” Hybrid clouds come with a variety of benefits that have nothing to do with disaster recovery. For many businesses, a hybrid cloud is the best solution for your disaster recovery plan.

Hybrid clouds are what they sound like: they combine a private cloud (usually hosted in a private data center) and a public cloud (hosted by Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc.). Doing this means you’re able to receive the benefits of both without having the drawbacks of either.

Many businesses host their most sensitive data in a private cloud and host their less critical information in a public cloud. Remember, a private cloud isn’t necessarily safer than a public cloud, but its flexibility can allow you to create an excessively safe environment that a public cloud couldn’t.

Other businesses back up their entire public cloud environment with their private cloud. This is great for disaster recovery since you wouldn’t have to worry if the private cloud went down.

The main downside to a hybrid cloud is the amount of time it takes to implement. Because you have to develop both a public and a private cloud, it can occasionally take months, if not years, to develop fully. However, once you’re running, you shouldn’t have any trouble from there.

Disaster Recovery Solutions

Whether you manage an S&P 500 company or just became a budding entrepreneur, you’ll have to prepare for challenging situations. Disaster recovery is much more than just backing up your data. But after reading this article, hopefully, you have a better idea of what options you have.

Alex Holcomb is a marketing and communications specialist at SH Data Tech. You can reach him at [email protected]

Originally posted 2021-10-14 21:55:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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