Most of the data loss in the data center results from minor outages. The actual full-blown disaster is rare. What happens every day is that somebody loses some data on a client system or a hard drive failure in the data center results in some lost data.
The biggest issue with all those little outages is that each one of them requires a lot of time to actually recover the data. The end result is a lot of IT people often recovering entire applications just to find a few pieces of critical data.
The good news is that with the rise of cloud computing the whole recovery process is about to become much less painful. As companies look to such services as Hewlett-Packard’s Enterprise Cloud Services – Continuity, it becomes more apparent that the nature of backup and recovery is fundamentally changing.
While backup will still play a role, replication of mission-critical applications into the cloud as an alternative to traditional backup and recovery technologies is on the rise. Instead of managing a cumbersome backup process, IT organizations are opting to use the cloud to replicate critical applications. In the event of an outage, they can simply point users to a current version of those mission-critical applications in a matter of minutes.
According to George Ferguson, product marketing manager of continuity services, HP Enterprise Services, the decision to use such services will be governed by recovery time objectives. That may change the way backup and recovery software is used in the age of the cloud, but it won’t eliminate the need for using it to make sure secondary applications are protected.
While HP is hardly the only vendor offering these services, Ferguson says the company’s ability to deliver business continuity services via the cloud on a global scale is unique. As Ferguson notes, different countries have different rules when it comes to where data can be stored. HP has the global data center footprint needed to comply with those rules, he says.
In the meantime, IT organizations should be giving some serious though to modernizing their data protection strategies in the age of the cloud. Waiting hours, sometimes even days, to recover a particular application isn’t going to cut it anymore and it won’t be too much longer before the whole concept of downtime finally goes away all together.