Cloud backup is gaining stream as more vendors now offer a variety of products at attractive prices, allowing businesses to store files securely in “the cloud” so they can easily access them in the event of a disaster or IT incident. Or, can they?

Don’t let cloud backup give you a false sense of security. All of your files might be stored safely in the cloud so they aren’t breached or damaged in the normal course of business. But, in the event of a server crash or other unforeseen event, you still have to download all those from the cloud back to a new machine. That could take hours, not to mention the fact that if you have to build a server, install the operating system and original applications it could be days before that server is back in production -time your business can’t afford to lose.

Even worse, in the case of a power outage or other event that closes down the entire office, cloud storage products won’t help you keep working. The bottom line is, backing up files online is good for consumers. But, when it comes to business, simple cloud backup does not meet enterprise requirements for avoiding application downtime, preserving business continuity, and keeping employees productive.

The solution? A cloud-based disaster recovery solution (also called Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service or Recovery-as-a-Service). A good, cloud-based disaster recovery solution involves cloud backup for both data and applications, and offers enterprises the ability to virtualize servers in the cloud. The advantage to this approach is that everyone who depends on access to data and applications to keep your business running can continue working from any Internet-connected device at any location. This enables the business to stay up, running, available, and productive during any emergency.

Is it time to consider cloud-based disaster recovery? Consider these facts as you make a decision:

  • Businesses depend on applications and data: Even if your physical offices are destroyed or closed down, you still need access to the critical systems that keep your company up and running. Cloud-based disaster recovery ensures that employees can access the information and systems they need to do their jobs, on any device, anywhere.
  • Downtime comes with a high cost:  A loss of business productivity, even for a short time, has an enormous impact on your bottom line. Downtime costs thousands of dollars per hour according to analysts. Having the ability to access critical business information and systems via the cloud can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost business in the event downtime occurs.
  • Cloud virtualization is easy, fast, and reliable: When Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern U.S. in 2012, several companies that used the Axcient solution were able to failover client networks to the cloud and keep the businesses running (and earning) even as other businesses closed down for long periods due to the storm damage. Cloud virtualization is easy to use and enables fast access to critical data and applications in an emergency. When disaster strikes, it can provide enterprise businesses great peace of mind to know that they have the right technology on hand to stay up and running.