Is cloud based DR and recovery all that it is cracked up to be? Many businesses are looking at the cloud as the DR promised land. By drastically reducing the costs of DR infrastructure, the cloud can potentially make DR affordable for almost any organization. But there is one “gotcha”. While provisioning cloud compute and storage resources may not be terribly complex, it does require end-users to familiarize themselves with the providers interface. And while the provisioning process may not be overly burdensome when only configuring a handful of servers, it can be long and laborious when it needs to be done for dozens of servers in the heat of a DR event.
OneCloud Software aims to bridge the gap between private data centers and public cloud infrastructure management, by providing the DR “configuration glue” required to map virtualized application infrastructure dependencies in private data centers with compute and storage resources in the public cloud. OneCloud’s OneCloud Recovery (OCR) software features an Automated Cloud Engine (ACE), which is the secret sauce for automating the DR provisioning process.
OneCloud’s ACE integrates as a virtual appliance into a private data center’s VMware infrastructure and builds out a configuration map of all the resources required to replicate a businesses production infrastructure in a cloud facility like Amazon’s. If a DR event occurs, OCR will interface with the cloud provider’s infrastructure provisioning engine and spin up all the required infrastructure resources automatically. The benefit for businesses is two fold. First, it speeds up the time to recovery since it doesn’t require cloud administrators to perform all the manual, step-by-step heavy lifting of configuring compute and storage resources. And secondly, it enables businesses to only use DR resources when they are absolutely needed – which can save a significant amount from a capital expenditure standpoint.
OneCloud claims their OCR technology is ideal for those business applications that require RPO and RTO (recovery point and recovery time objectives) service levels that can be measured in minutes or hours. In other words, DR capabilities that are more robust than standard backup recovery service levels (low cost) but not as stringent as high availability, synchronously replicated “stretch cluster” (high cost) environments. OneCloud believes that the majority of business application services fall into this “broad middle” on the data protection continuum and they see their OCR solution as an enabler for utilizing low cost public cloud resources for DR purposes.
Storage Swiss Take
Public cloud infrastructure is now making it possible for virtually any business to afford robust DR capabilities. No longer is it necessary to have dedicated, off-site data center space and physical servers and storage infrastructure waiting on stand-by for an event that might happen. Instead, public cloud server compute and storage resources can be spun up on demand and then decommissioned when they are no longer needed. This just-in-time model for DR is very attractive from a cost efficiencies standpoint, but if these resources can’t be provisioned rapidly enough to meet service levels, then businesses may only be purchasing half a solution. Offering like OneCloud’s makes the cloud DR use case more viable as it automates those processes which are best left to machines rather than to humans.