One of the biggest drawbacks to backup and recovery is that the actual process of backing up files and recovering files is time consuming. Add the expense of acquiring the dedicated infrastructure that mostly sits idle and it is little wonder that backup and recovery quickly fall off the IT priority list.
Cloud computing is supposed to solve the expense issue associated with dedicated infrastructure. But making cumbersome backup and recovery processes simpler in the context of the cloud requires a little engineering work. According to Steve Fairbanks, vice president of data management for CA Technologies, that's what CA Technologies and Microsoft have teamed up to do.
CA Technologies this week launched a hybrid CA ARCserve D2D On Demand service that integrates locally running editions of CA ARCserve software with the Microsoft Azure cloud. The basic idea is to allow organizations to seamlessly use the cloud for backup in a way that makes critical system images still available locally for recovery.
In effect, CA Technologies is using the cloud to converge the backup and archiving processes. Backup is first done locally and then data is moved out to the cloud for archiving. In the event of a disaster, a business often looks for system images and copies of its most recent data and having those files locally speeds recovery, says Fairbanks. The Microsoft Azure cloud was selected because the two companies have a long-standing alliance and Microsoft provides full transparency into the Azure cloud in terms of security controls and measurable service-level agreements, adds Fairbanks.
There's no doubt that cloud computing has the potential to change backup and recovery for the better. The issue is finding an offering that is not only simple to use, but also speeds the recovery process. After all, in the event of an emergency, no one wants to know how difficult the backup process was. All end users really want to know is how long will it take for the IT department to recover their most critical files and applications.