IDC expects spending on public IT cloud services to grow almost five-fold, reaching $19.5 billion in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) by 2016. Cloud use is becoming pervasive in organizations across all industries, and SMBs are not exempt from this trend. In fact, more and more SMBs are shifting their workloads to the cloud to take advantage of better productivity, simplicity, elasticity and cost savings.
The move to cloud-based storage services also brings challenges in terms of security and data protection. As data grows and service levels become even tighter, environments are becoming more heterogeneous and complex while IT budgets tend to remain the same. This mix increases the risks of data loss.
Deploying a scalable and affordable disaster recovery (DR) program has become a must for every organization, regardless of their size. Without a defined comprehensive DR plan, unplanned downtime of business-critical applications or data loss can prove fatal to an organization. This is especially a challenge for SMBs because most of them lack the datacenters, internal expertise and budget to have a full-blown DR solution in place. Fortunately there are now cloud-based DR options that can fully fit into SMBs' data protection needs.
In this article, Mark Bentkower, Director of Enterprise Solutions Asia Pacific, CommVault Systems, discusses the first aspects SMBs should consider before making the shift to a cloud-based DR infrastructure.
Because the cloud is more complex, integrated and dynamic than a traditional IT infrastructure, it is essential for organizations to carefully select the right cloud solution that offers an effective DR strategy, aligned to the organization's needs.
1. Look within before the search
The first step before implementing a cloud DR offering is to evaluate the organization's needs. Choosing a cloud DR solution should always be preceded by a discussion on the company's immediate and long term goals, followed by expected data growth, potential risks and threats, as well as the organization's security and compliance requirements. The results of the evaluation will be major factors that determine the infrastructure and configuration that need to be put in place to facilitate cloud-based DR.
2. Who is the fairest of them all?
Once an organization has determined its data protection needs, the next step is to shortlist a selection of cloud providers that can satisfy those needs. Security is a key consideration, since the cloud is vulnerable to security attacks and breaches. Availability within a specified window is vital, so organizations should trial and compare the performance of different cloud service providers without being locked into a single offering. Many cloud providers offer a "try before you buy" program which allows organizations to test the solution before signing a contract.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.