On-premises backup infrastructure is expensive and cumbersome to manage. At the same time, many enterprises are rapidly running out of available data center floorspace. As discussed on a recent Storage Switzerland webinar with Carbonite, cloud storage services offer a path to overcoming these challenges, but they must be implemented in a way that provides enterprise-class capabilities. Previously, we blogged on the need for a turnkey, all-in-one cloud solution, as well as the need for complete platform coverage. In this blog, we will cover the need for flexible recovery.
During the move to the cloud, it is important to be sure that capabilities are not given up. Disaster recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is among the most compelling and value-add use cases of cloud service-delivered infrastructure resources. The customer does not need to invest in deploying and managing an additional data center that sits on “stand by,” awaiting a disaster recovery state that (at least in an ideal world) is infrequently declared. The cloud, on the other hand, provides elastic compute cycles that may be spun up on demand and that are paid for as they are consumed. These capabilities can be crucial when it comes to getting the business back online following a disaster recovery state, cost efficiently.
At the same time, however, there are still costs that are associated with spinning up a disaster recovery instance in the cloud. Another consideration is that the cloud almost always adds latency when compared to running the same workload on premises. As a result, it will not make sense to utilize the cloud for every restore. For example, in the event that a storage array or server system fails, or that a specific application such as a very large database becomes corrupted, it may in fact be quicker and less expensive to recover on premises. Spinning that volume of data up in the cloud can be very expensive and can take quite a while. Additionally, the cloud might not provide the levels of performance that are required while in the recovery state.
Alongside flexible recovery, storage professionals should also look for the ability to granularly recover data, whether in the cloud or on premises, as a key disaster recovery requirement. Legal holds and eDiscovery requirements, ransomware, and accidental file deletion are just some of the events that can trigger the need for a specific file to be quickly identified and recovered.