And the Thunder Rolls: All the Noise about Cloud and What that Means When Lightning Strikes
Blog Article Published: 02/23/2011
Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) continue to be driving factors for some organizations looking to move to cloud. Many are looking to manage their Disaster Recovery planning through extensive use of managed cloud services – and for good reasons. These are the most common benefits of leveraging cloud services for disaster recovery planning cited by cloud customers:
- 1. I only have to pay for what I use. If I don’t declare a disaster scenario, my costs are nominal.
- 2. I have flexibility with the amount of management my provider requires of me to maintain my DR from “full control” to “no control”.
- 3. I can leverage a world-class redundant facility to provide the greatest assurance of business continuity in the event of a major event.
- 4. I can keep my applications as up-to-date as I want, by defining my Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
- 5. When I declare a disaster, I can rely on my cloud service provider for support rather than expect my staff to travel to a Disaster Recovery site for recovery work.
- To what level of redundancy do you maintain your cloud infrastructure within the primary location? N + 50%? N + 1? N x 2?
- To what level of capacity do you maintain your cloud infrastructure Disaster Recovery services in the redundant location or locations?
- Are Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity services included in my contract and managed cloud environment?
- How am I billed during steady state?
- How am I billed in the event of a declared disaster?
- What are the options for providing the best Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and the costs associated with those options?
- What are the options for providing the best Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and the costs associated with those options?
- When I declare a disaster, what are the resources I can rely on to provide assistance to perform full recovery of services and data?
- How often and to what extent are you willing to perform regular DR tests?
- Are your cloud data centers diverse in the following manner:
- Are they geographically disparate?
- Do they have redundant power feeds?
- Do you maintain redundant circuits into diverse sides of the facilities?
- Is the network distribution to the cloud environment fully redundant?
- What processes are in place to be sure my data is synchronized?
- What processes are in place to ensure changes are implemented consistently in all cloud node environments?
- Are the environments run in an active/active, active/passive, or active/off-line configuration?
- How often does the managed cloud service provider support DR testing?
- Are all security measures mirrored in the redundant location, even when inactive?
- Authentication and Authorization
- Security Event Correlation
- What options are there to maintain development, quality assurance, and Disaster Recovery environments with version control?
- What processes and services are available to ensure a smooth recovery to primary location after the disaster is over, if necessary?
- What is the sustainability of the DR environment? Is the DR environment architected to provide degraded or minimal performance?
- Are the same compliance controls provided in all Cloud node environments (e.g., SAS70 in every Data Center)?
- What processes are in place to maintain backups during disaster declaration, and synchronize backups and restore the backup processes to normal after restoration of services to primary location?
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