Cloud computing disaster recovery: Don't set it and forget it

Much of the appeal of cloud computing disaster recovery is the potential for automatic backup, but that doesn't mean CIOs can "set it and forget it." Get cloud DR advice from the pros in this #CIOChat recap.

Has your enterprise contracted with a cloud vendor for disaster recovery? If so, do you hold that vendor to the same high DR standards you maintain within your organization?

During our June #CIOChat, SearchCIO asked participants: "How important is it to perform cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) tests? Do we even need tests with cloud-based DR?" Cloud computing-based DR is appealing on a number of fronts with regards to resource planning and cost savings. 

To get expert advice, SearchCIO called upon frequent SearchDisasterRecovery contributor Paul Kirvan. Kirvan, an independent consultant, IT auditor and technical writer, acted as tweet jam expert during the 30-minute discussion.

In addition to planning and cost-saving perks, Kirvan highlighted other benefits of cloud DR:

The number of firms specializing in cloud-based DR to safeguard valuable data is multiplying, but as with all IT matters, there are some risks to consider. Before adopting cloud-based DR, organizations must ensure data will be securely transferred and users properly authenticated, and that their company has the internal bandwidth and network capacity to redirect users to the cloud in the event of disaster. In other words, you can't just "set it and forget it." Our tweet jammers sounded off on other aspects of security and compliance in cloud computing disaster recovery:

Whether cloud is your organization's primary storage solution or an extension of your IT environment for backup only, tweet jammers advised CIOs to approach cloud-based disaster recovery with the mindset that even the cloud is ripe for failure, so test often.

In a report published this year by CloudEndure, respondents shared who in their organization is responsible for cloud-based DR. Turns out, 39% of the organizations rely on IT, while others turn to a cloud operations departments (26%) or R&D and application development (26%). Regardless of who is in charge, planning is necessary.

Participant Mark Thiele shared his experience with a disaster avoidance and recovery plan (DARP), and other tweet jammers chimed in with their successes and failures, underscoring the importance not only of backups, but backups for your backups:

Is your organization using cloud for primary data storage or backup storage? Do you have cloud computing disaster recovery plans in place? Sound off in the comments section below, and pencil in our next SearchCIO tweet jam on Wednesday, July 30, at 3 p.m. EDT (topic TBA).

Next Steps

Read SearchCIO's past coverage of cloud disaster recovery, including a news story drawn from TechTarget's 2012 Cloud Pulse survey and a tip from Paul Kirvan.

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