Click here to close now.


Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Should Cloud Be Part of Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan?

How Cloud enables a fast, agile and cost-effective recovery process

Recent times have witnessed a huge shift in paradigm of data storage for backup and recovery. As the legendary Steve Jobs said, "The truth lies in the Cloud" - the introduction of the Cloud has enabled the fast and agile data recovery process which is can be more efficient, flexible and cost-effective than restoring data or systems from physical drives or tapes, as is the standard practice.

Cloud backup is the new approach to data storage and backup which allows the users to store a copy of the data on an offsite server - accessible via the network. The network that hosts the server may be private or a public one, and is often managed by some third-party service provider. Therefore, the provision of cloud solution for the data recovery services is a flourishing business market whereby the service provider charges the users in exchange for server access, storage space and bandwidth, etc.

The online backup systems typically are schedule-based; however continual backup is a possibility. Depending on the requirements of the system and application, the backup is updated at preset intermittent levels; with the aim of efficient time and bandwidth utilization. The popularity of the Cloud backup (or managed backup service) business lies in the convenience it offers. The cost is reduced due to elimination of physical resources such as hard disks from the scenario with the added benefit of the automatic execution of the backup.

Cloud-based disaster recovery are a highly viable and useful approach for ensuring business continuity.  Using a completely virtualized environment and techniques such as replicated data, services such as LAN Doctors, Inc., a New Jersey-based managed backup service was able to provide 100% uptime when one of their largest clients - a major processor of insurance claims, was hit by a hurricane, lost internet connectivity - and was unable to process claims.

This kind of near-realtime "off-site" disaster recovery capability is now available to organizations of all sizes - not just those large enough to afford redundant data centers with high speed network connections.

The use of Cloud for backup and disaster recovery will grow - the increase in demand of the cloud storage is due mainly to the exponential increase in the more critical data amounts of the organizations over time. Increasingly, organizations are replicating not only data - but entire virtual systems to the Cloud.  Adding to the Cloud's advantages is the reduced price, flexibility of repeated testing and the non-rigid structure of the Cloud which gives you full opportunity to scale up or down as per your requirements.  The flexibility to restore from physical to Cloud-based virtual machine adds to the attraction.

Why Cloud Is Better
The most common traditional backup mechanism used is to store the data backup offsite.  For small business owners, sometimes that means putting a tape or disk drive in the computer bag and bringing it home.  For others, tapes/disks are sent overnight to a secure location. The most common problems with this approach are that either the data is not being stored offsite (due to human or procedural error), or else the data and systems are not being backed up frequently enough.  Furthermore, when a recovery is necessary, the media typically need to be transported back on-site.  If the data backup is stored locally, then there is the chance of a regional problem impacting the ability to recover. In retrospect, cloud offers a complete regionally-immune mechanism for online data recovery by creating a backup online at a remote site and enabling prompt data recovery when required.  Backups can be done as often as required.

Other Cloud-based recovery services include fail-over servers. In this scenario, in the event of server failure, a virtualized server and all the data can be spun up - while the failed server is recovered.

The Cloud provides significant advantages to many organizations - it enables a full data recovery mechanism by using backups, fail-over servers and a storage site remotely placed so as to keep it safe from the local or regional factors.  Meanwhile, the organizations avoid the cost and effort associated with maintaining all that backup infrastructure.

The large corporations - those which can afford redundant and remote compute capacity, and typically already have sophisticated recovery mechanisms running, can benefit by leveraging the Cloud where appropriate - and hence experience even better results than before. Of course, for a large organization to exercise and experience benefits of Cloud to its full in this area, it would need to consider the architecture and applications of their systems and the kind of technology deployed.

Or Is It?
The biggest concern for people and enterprises when it comes to the Cloud is the security of their data and the issue of their privacy.  Data from IDC show that 93 percent of US companies are backing up at least some data to the Cloud; whereas that number falls to about 63% in Western Europe and even further (57%) in Asia-Pacific region.  The biggest reason European and Asia-Pacific organizations give for not leveraging Cloud for backup?  Security.

There can also be latency issues in dealing with effectively streaming large amounts of data to the Cloud - versus (for example) having a data storage appliance with built-in deduplication and data compression.

Cloud or Local?  The Verdict
The answer is clearly "it depends".  Backup should never be treated as a "one-size fits all" thing.  Your backup and recovery mechanisms need to be matched to your particular technological and business needs.  There's simply no substitute for knowing your own requirements, the capability of various technologies, and carrying out a thorough evaluation.  Don't be surprised if you end up with both Cloud and local - some systems simply require local backup (either for business, regulatory or technological reasons).

With the average size of an organization's data growing at 40% a year, one thing is certain -  there is a lot of backing up that needs to get done, both locally and on the Cloud.

More Stories By Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis Tibbetts, or @SoftwareHollis as his 50,000+ followers know him on Twitter, is listed on various “top 100 expert lists” for a variety of topics – ranging from Cloud to Technology Marketing, Hollis is by day Evangelist & Software Technology Director at Dell Software. By night and weekends he is a commentator, speaker and all-round communicator about Software, Data and Cloud in their myriad aspects. You can also reach Hollis on LinkedIn – His latest online venture is OnlineBackupNews - a free reference site to help organizations protect their data, applications and systems from threats. Every year IT Downtime Costs $26.5 Billion In Lost Revenue. Even with such high costs, 56% of enterprises in North America and 30% in Europe don’t have a good disaster recovery plan. Online Backup News aims to make sure you all have the news and tips needed to keep your IT Costs down and your information safe by providing best practices, technology insights, strategies, real-world examples and various tips and techniques from a variety of industry experts.

Hollis is a regularly featured blogger at ebizQ, a venue focused on enterprise technologies, with over 100,000 subscribers. He is also an author on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on protecting data: Online Backup News.
He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis

Additional information is available at

All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

Latest Stories
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
The revocation of Safe Harbor has radically affected data sovereignty strategy in the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Jeff Miller, Product Management at Cavirin Systems, discussed how to assess these changes across your own cloud strategy, and how you can mitigate risks previously covered under the agreement.
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...