The Cloud Is the New Home of Disaster Recovery

Carl Weinschenk
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5 Essential Elements in Building an Agile Data Center

It’s a happy accident for IT departments and the companies for whom they work that cloud computing has become so popular. The cloud, among its other attributes, is a potent and powerful tool for disaster recovery and business continuity (DR/BC).

IT departments certainly realize this. Data security firm Zetta released research earlier this month that found that 90 percent of IT professionals who include cloud in their DR mix are confident of their strategy. While companies using on-premises solution approaches are also confident, their certainty isn’t quite as great: The study found that 74 percent of IT professionals who approach DR in this manner feel confident.

Organizations that didn’t get the message certainly are catching up. This month, Transparency Market Research released research that paints a picture of a growing and increasingly fragmented marketplace. Cloud-based DR, which is marketed as disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS), has exploded from a handful of established vendors. Now, the company says, those providers have been joined by a large number of startups and traditional DR vendors.


The expansion of revenues is as impressive. Transparency predicts that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between this year and 2024 will be 35.7 percent. That would mean that the segment’s value will grow from $1.29 billion last year to $21.55 billion in 2024. North America will lead the charge, the press release says.

The cloud is used in different ways for DR, according to SearchDataCenter. Two are in colocation centers and one on the public cloud. The “colo” versions are unmanaged – companies essentially lease space and equipment and run things themselves, or else arrange for monitoring, management and DR services to be included. The public cloud version gives organizations the ability to set policies that are implemented by the provider.

Understanding the different flavors of cloud-based DR is only one of the preparatory steps, according to Data Center Dynamics. Experts suggest that organizations create a strategic plan for migration, widely involve staff, and train and prepare staff carefully. Be prepared for a long transition, since moving DR to the cloud involves more than just flipping a few switches.

The move of DR to the cloud is nothing new. Indeed, one of the key elements of DR has always been “geographic diversity,” which is use of the cloud by another name. Clearly, however, the cloud is changing. IT departments must approach use of DR with great care and foresight.

Nine out of 10 IT professionals aren’t wrong in that the cloud makes a safer and more reliable DR platform. But it only does so if it is done correctly.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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