Stormy Weather in the Age of Cloud Computing

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It's that time of year again when the predictions concerning the number of potential hurricanes and tropical storms start to circulate again. This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that we may see as many as four to six major hurricanes in a year that the agency says has a 90 percent probability of being an above-normal hurricane season.

The predictions are rarely on target, but the havoc wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew prompts people to take the issue seriously. The good news is that advances in cloud computing have gone a long way to mitigate the potential impact of a hurricane.

There are still all kinds of logistical issues that need to be managed. But getting the servers and applications back up and running should not be nearly as complex as in the past. For example, the i365 cloud computing unit of Seagate this week expanded its EVault Remote Disaster Recovery Service in the cloud to include support for VMware ESX, Red Hat Linux, Novell Suse Linux and IBM iSeries and pSeries servers.

According to Karen Jaworski, director of product management for i365, the disaster recovery service from i365 guarantees to make virtual copies of the files stored in its EVault accessible over a private virtual network within 24 hours.

There are plenty of options for using the cloud to create an effective disaster recovery plan. The key thing to remember is that servers in the cloud are usually thousands of miles away from the actual disaster, and as long as you can provide people with access to them, you can be back in business in a matter of minutes or hours, depending in the level of service your business requires.