Running a business is always a challenging feat to manage, and that's assuming you've managed to cross your t's and dot your i's. Life, however, loves to challenge us in ways we could never imagine, so being prepared for the unexpected is quintessential to finding success in almost any industry.
However, one might be wondering what the best cloud options for disaster recovery are.
Here are the top 5 options available for you today:
1. Carbonite Cloud Backup
3. Quorum OnQ
4. Zetta Backup and Recovery
5. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
We have taken the liberty of researching to get the best answers possible. This article will discuss some insight into what makes each function a little better or worse in some cases. But first, we must take a bit of time to speak on why you should choose a disaster recovery in the first place.
Why Should I Choose A Disaster Recovery For My Cloud?
Before cloud recovery options became normalized, the typical solution to any disaster event in your business was to routinely make backups of all data, applications, and related files. You would then store them in a secure location away from your office.
The problem here is that this process devours incredible amounts of time from whoever is performing the job but is costly upon itself just to pay for the man-hours and supplies needed to facilitate the process.
Thankfully utilizing CDR or Cloud Disaster Recovery, you can safely store all the necessary apps and data required to run your business in a secured, digital environment. This environment will offer you ease of access no matter where you are geographical.
Nowadays, though, this is not just something your IT guy has to figure out on his lonesome and oversee to ensure the company stays afloat. The concept itself has become a new business, lovingly referred to as Disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS for short.
Some Of The Perks
One of the most excellent perks about utilizing one of these kinds of services would be that you can bounce back from a catastrophic event and get back to work without minimal downtime.
You can minimize any extra costs that usually come with rebuilding your business if your data and applications have been lost if they are destroyed.
Another reason why CDR options are invaluable is because of the magnitude of loss that can occur if you don't have one in place.
It is estimated that roughly 40% of all businesses that suffer from an unexpected data loss or disaster event close their doors permanently due to poor planning.
It is essential to have a fundamental understanding of what CDR is and what it does before we get into the best recovery plans. The options we will uncover will help you understand which will fit your needs and be there when you need it the most.
What Are The Best Disaster Recovery Options?
Luckily enough, DR options are commonplace now and offer a myriad of options available to the keen shopper. We will be discussing many subjects, such as;
What makes them different from one another
What they show individually
Which ones can fit your business model the best, and for a price that doesn't break your bank.
1. Carbonite Cloud Backup
First, on the list we have Carbonite Cloud Backup, it's a strong starting point due to the fact that it's most basic plans for three computers on the same system only costing $6 annually, and topping off at $50 for every computer you have available and any servers you utilize being backed up as well.
Carbonite is well known for being a solid go-to for startup businesses. It uses on a personal level. However, some of the most prominent reviews seen from them are from the download speeds offered when it is time to recover your data from the cloud itself.
While the data and servers will be safe and sound, getting them up and running may take a day or two to finish integrating, so bear that in mind before choosing them.
Next up, we have Zerto and a friend of the typical PC user if there ever was one. Zerto comes with a customizable interface that has gained fame for being incredibly user-friendly and can seamlessly swap between these three services:
Amazon Web Services
There are many options to consider when going with them.
Zerto also finds itself on some substantial ground in this business due to its replication-based method of backup, which combines some of the most valuable aspects of traditionally making direct copies of data and meshes it all together by adding in DR and cloud mobility to boot.
The downside to Zerto would be that for all its specialized and unique offers and diversity in methods to protect yourself and your business, it is geared primarily at larger companies from the get-go.
Your average Zerto license will run at about $750 per year. That being said, you only want to go with this method if you oversee a large business and want some serious data protection for your large-scale operation.
3. Quorum OnQ
Quorum in itself offers something unique in the form of nearly instant recovery from disasters when it does strike. With several valuable options in the off-hand chance, several of your business sites go down simultaneously.
It manages to have this miraculous recovery speed by constantly maintaining virtual machine clones of your virtual and physical servers utilizing ready-to-run variants of the clones themselves.
These clones will instantly take over failed devices within several minutes of the original disaster and minimize any downtimes you might suffer because of it.
Something Quorum offers that most of the other competition doesn't come in the form of a compact, all-in-one solution. This is done by making usage of a high availability product, with instant recovery and cloud backup.
In contrast, most other forms of CDR utilize several different systems that aren't made by the same company and form a "functioning" workaround.
Once again, not all of these options are for your average user, and Quorum is no exception to this ideology.
For all of its instantaneous system functionality and virtual machine cloning, it comes in at roughly $1400 a month for the service, so if you are a startup, be wary of this investment.
4. Zetta Backup and Recovery
Here we have a beautiful combination of data recovery for a business at a startup level price. Zetta offers everything we've already covered from your traditional CDR options but comes with a few notable differences.
The first of these would be the wide range of Operating Systems that it is qualified to handle. This would be everything from your basic Windows and Mac to your more open-ended Linux users as well.
It also benefits from having a few versatile plug-ins for built-in MS Exchange, VMware, SQL, and NetApp filters.
Now to get to the nitty-gritty, the price, your standard service with Zetta will cost you about $175 a month. This nets you about 500 GB of storage space, the system's easy-to-use and unlimited servers are also thrown into the deal.
If you do want to test it out before getting it, be sure to ask for it upfront, though, because the service is not openly offered in most cases.
5. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
As time goes on, it's getting harder and harder to find any facet of life Amazon isn't involved with, and CDR isn't any different. As profits have soared for the corporate giant, it only makes sense they would attempt to profit in this industry as well.
As a service, AWS is immense and has hundreds of different applicable portions of its service. Still, we are trying to focus on the one under their "Storage options" and is found under the title AWS backup.
Being the goliath it is, Amazon's native data recovery and the backup system have fully integrated microsystems that comply with government sanctions and HIPAA evaluations. It has a wide array of customization for every step. a
You would obviously have them at your disposal to learn how to navigate the multiple platforms available here.
In the form of pricing, Amazon paves the way in an entirely different direction by only charging you for what is used.
For example: if you store 1 GB of data, they will charge you $0.05 for keeping that gigabyte of data and $0.02 for every GB of data you restore.
Once you get into things, you could definitely save quite a bit of money utilizing Amazon's services. Still, it is rather intricate and centered around itself, so if you can learn to navigate it, this is one of the best choices available for the price.
Getting yourself a DRP is just the first step to utilizing this invaluable resource that can and quite possibly will save your business. The second part of this is knowing how to use your DR system in an actual situation.
Getting a better grasp on the methods you can use to familiarize yourself with your new system can more easily be broken down into five steps. Let's dive into them below.
1. Walkthrough Testing
As evident as the name states, this step would see your designated and assigned groups going through the plans of how your specified DRP works. Another thing walkthrough testing does identify any issues that could arise in a real scenario.
It will also show you what kind of changes need to be made to better accommodate staff on hand and customers when coming back from a potential disaster.
2. Simulation Testing
This would essentially be the hands-on version of walkthrough testing. In this scenario, individuals are expected to navigate through an artificial system failure and attempt to use your selected software, regain access to your systems, and get everything operational again.
This form of testing would measure response time from personnel and how long it takes for a business to get back on track to a reasonable level, with acute data loss being considered.
3. Checklist Testing
Having a checklist on-site makes getting through this chaotic event manageable. It provides a reasonable expectation list to ensure the recovery process is going efficiently.
Your average index would have you establishing an RTO or recovery time objective and RPO or recovery point objective.
RTO refers to the time required to recover all of your applications to a normal state. RPO would be the recent age of the files that you must recover to return to normalized operations in your business.
You are taking intricate details of the inventory on both software and hardware to establish what is or isn't required to get your business back on track. This boils down to some important aspects:
Applications your company cannot function without.
Any critical applications are utilized constantly throughout the day.
Any apps you can go several days without needing.
Identifying personnel-specific roles to play helps facilitate a full recovery from a disaster event. In return, it will make the situation bearable by having everyone get a workload and establish lines of contact and responsibility to get things back on track.
Duties may be separated into who officially makes the call that a disaster has indeed occurred, who reaches out to affected business partners, and who relays information about how this affects normal transitions.
Ensuring there are emergency contacts in place and giving the organization's head to the help desk allows you to get through these troubled waters, all hands on deck, as the saying goes.
Having a small template available for everyone involved to go by their interactions will also help control the disaster in itself.
This will help everyone communicate expectancies and procedures and handle interactions with customers to represent your business in a capacity that is reflective of your business model.
4. Full Interruption Testing
This form of testing terminates primary operations of your central business location to rely entirely on your CDR systems. It allows employees to use the systems and regulations in place to see how an actual disaster would pan out.
If you are going to attempt a full interruption test, make sure you notify all staff, customers, and other individuals that may be involved several days before the test so everyone can be fully prepared to handle this event.
While some businesses would run with the example that it can't be a complete test if everyone knows what is to happen, trades at a startup phase may not have the experience required to navigate the situation without a heads up. They will get everyone on board on how to handle the event in a real scenario.
Losing access to your business's data and making the leap back into a full recovery is a mentally exhausting situation for everyone involved, from a team member perspective and a customer's as well.
Dedicating time to having a CDR in place and educating everyone in your organization on how to use it effectively and efficiently can and will determine whether or not you remain in business after such an event.
Hopefully, this article has helped point you in the right direction on establishing a Cloud Disaster Recovery plan for yourself and how to steer your business into clear waters. This is, of course, thinking if the worst-case scenario comes into play. It is always better to be safe than sorry!