When to Consider Cloud Computing and Business Continuity

According to a Computer Technology Review article by Ian Masters of Vision Solutions, one of the biggest challenges currently surrounding cloud computing is knowing the right questions to ask, as well as understanding the language that cloud providers use to describe their services. Here are six questions that can help your business define its requirements:

1. Can the cloud protect all company servers and applications?

2. At what level does the service work? For instance, does it protect the OS and applications in addition to the data?

3. How are data/servers recovered, and what is the downtime associated with the recovery?

4. Can the failover process be tested to ensure that the process works?

5. Do I need dedicated servers in the cloud, or can I just pay for what I use?

6. How does the service provider protect their data centers?

When considering using the cloud in your business continuity, make sure you understand the recovery process by examining the following: “how up to date your data needs to be, and how much data you can stand to lose; how quickly your organization wants to be back up and running after any disaster; and how much control your organization has to retain over its data (for example, does company policy allow information to be moved over to a third party, can data leave the country or region boundaries, etc. Different countries have different regulations surrounding data sharing, depending on industry.

The bottom line: Does the cloud make sense for your business?

“For smaller companies, where the cost of DR was too high, a cloud-based approach can provide better RTO and RPO in an affordable way,” according to Masters’ article. “For larger organizations, cloud can complement their existing continuity strategy by increasing the number of machines that are protected at the same cost. It can also offer another location for data to be stored in the unlikely event of multiple sites being affected.”

For more information about cloud computing and if it’s right for your business, visit: http://www.wwpi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=99:cover-story&id=12976:cloud-computing-and-business-continuity-where-and-when-should-you-consider-this-approach&Itemid=2701018