Predicting the future is difficult. The reality is, technology has surpassed our once audacious predictions and, frankly, our technology is better than what was predicted. What stays true is that we can always count on technology to change the way we live and the way our businesses operate.

Consider the role of cloud in backup and disaster recovery. Organizations are starting to move away from traditional backup and disaster recovery involving tape and disk-to-disk methodology. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2016, nearly 20% of organizations will abandon traditional backup and recovery.

Let’s look at the prominent role cloud is playing in today’s backup and disaster recovery solutions.

The Shift to Cloud-based Backup and Disaster Recovery

According to leading analysts at Gartner, between 2012 and 2016, one-third of organizations will change backup vendors due to frustration over cost, complexity or capability. The complexity and capabilities of a solution or product can determine how satisfied your customers will be in the long term. Additionally, more organizations are seeing the value and necessity of an IT strategy that doesn’t just protect your data but also your applications and IT infrastructure from downtime. More enterprises are starting to implement a Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution.

While some IT professionals are still hesitant to move to a cloud-based disaster recovery solution because of myths underlining “higher costs,” recent trends show that many are willing to debunk those myths for five key reasons:

  1. Cloud Solutions are Not Just for Disaster Scenarios – In reality, businesses have to stop thinking about disasters and start considering different ways to prevent interruptions. So while corrupted files, deleted emails and the occasional server crash may obstruct your business, they are not disasters. Cloud-based solutions should not be abandoned and are actually more appropriate in this scenario.
  2. The Difference Between Cloud Storage and Cloud Disaster Recovery – Solutions like Dropbox or Box are specifically developed to provide cloud storage. A cloud-based disaster recovery solution gives you more than just the ability to access your files; it enables you to actually run your systems in the cloud. Your key application servers, SQL and Exchange servers can be virtualized as if they were in a virtual data center. According to Gartner, by 2017, 50% of large enterprises will use IT services failover between multiple data center sites as their primary disaster recovery strategy. You ultimately want to think of the cloud in terms of having an “on-demand” data center that can ensure business continuity.
  3. Cloud Solutions Are Secure – It’s natural to be hesitant to utilize cloud solutions, especially with the media exposing online hackers and lost or stolen personal data. There is a clear distinction among cloud providers. According to an ESG survey, organizations resulted in improved security, reduced onsite data protection hardware and infrastructure costs, and reduced IT personnel costs just from utilizing a cloud solution. Cautiously evaluate different cloud services. Cloud-based DR can provide you with enterprise-grade security that is arguably better than what your internal IT team can put together.
  4. Do-It-Yourself DR Will Actually Cost You More – With an experienced IT team it may seem more appealing to do it yourself, especially with low-cost providers like Amazon EC2 and other open source projects that can be stitched together. Cost reduction, greater control and faster recovery are a few reasons why IT professionals decide to forgo service providers and cloud providers. However, this results in the lack of focus on DR, lack of funding to ensure the DR architecture is up-to-date, lack of skills and lack of confidence that your business can effectively respond in a disaster situation. Looking at the full Total Cost of Ownership and the longevity of the service provided, cloud-based DR solutions are a more promising approach.
  5. Not All Cloud Providers Are the Same – It’s important to do your research, decide on what is important to your organization and then find a provider that meets your needs.

Consider the following criteria:

  • Can the solution protect and recover physical and virtual servers, laptops and workstations? SQL databases and MS Exchange servers?
  • Is extensive training and a lengthy manual required, or is the solution intuitive and easy to use?
  • Do you have the ability to protect and recover files, database, and entire systems directly from the system interface or does the vendor have to be contacted to assist?

Ask yourself, how much data can you afford to lose? Re-evaluate your current data and application protection strategy. Is a cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solution the right fit? Vendors like Axcient are creating best-in-class, reliable and cost effective solutions for your entire DR needs to ensure your business is protected. Axcient provides everything from rapid recovery, application continuity, and cloud virtualization all from a single integrated cloud platform.

For more on cloud-based backup and disaster recovery best practices and market trends, check out The 5 Myths of Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery.