When you spend twenty years in the data storage industry, you’re no stranger to disaster recovery plans and their importance. A disaster recovery plan is an essential best practice when building a data storage environment because, let’s face it, disks may fail, storage arrays may fail, entire data centers may fail and, yes, even a cloud provider may fail; but these occurrences are neither controversial or shocking.
It so happens that cloud storage is an excellent way to enhance and augment your disaster recovery plan. A storage architecture that follows best practices does not rely on a single data center. With cloud enabling technology, like CloudArray, cloud storage is a simple and secure off-site extension of your data center. When combined with an existing data center, the cloud enables a multi-site data protection and DR strategy that rivals those of large enterprise companies. A virtual disaster recovery site is a very compelling use case for cloud storage where the resulting “whole” really is greater than the sum of its parts; the availability of the combined data center facility is greater than the availability of either your existing data center or the cloud.
Now given the extent of public outcry around the recent AWS outage, one can mistakenly conclude that the unthinkable has happened or, alternatively, one can see a case for maintaining best practices that “design for failure.” Using cloud is not an excuse to abandon best practices or to push the burden of the availability of your business to a cloud provider. Unless your SLA specifies the cloud provider is taking full financial responsibility for business loss from outages, you are responsible for an “off-cloud” disaster recovery strategy, whether that strategy involves using more than one cloud provider or using your local premise as the other site.
Cloud storage is a way to enable tremendous advantages for your business. A good starting point is using the cloud to enhance/augment rather than replace existing infrastructure. If you do, I’m certain you will be pleased with the results.
Still not a believer? Look for part II of this series, where our CTO, John Bates, gives you a technical lowdown of why the whole is greater than the sum of parts…