While organizations are turning the tide with digital transformation, they cannot escape the far-reaching implications of man-made and natural disasters. Take a look at these numbers:
- 94% of companies that lost their data due to disasters could not recover it.
- 1 cyberattack takes place every 40 seconds
- Human errors and faulty systems cause 23% of unplanned downtime.
Now imagine there is a hospital in a disaster-prone zone that delivers information and medical resources to more than 100,000 patients. Both its DR site and data center are just situated 20 miles apart. Think about what will happen if a natural calamity strikes in that area. Both these facilities will get damaged, resulting in irrevocable data loss.
So, how can the hospital safeguard itself from such devasting consequences? It needs to shift its DR site to a geologically distant location from the primary data center, complying to stringent in-country data hosting regulations. The answer can be hybrid cloud. Taking the hybrid approach, the hospital can reduce overhead and maintenance costs associated with running redundant servers by shifting computing resources to the cloud backed up safely on the DR site, distributing high traffic end user accessible workloads to public cloud, and ensuring complete data security and compliance.
However, the benefits of implementing Disaster Recovery as a Service on the hybrid cloud go beyond this. Read this blog to delve deep into why a hybrid cloud is ideal for DR along with the tricks and trades of implementing a risk-proof DR strategy.
Why Should Businesses Consider Hybrid Cloud for Disaster Recovery?
Consider another scenario. In today’s digital era, incidents of ransomware, breaches, and scams are raising the alarm about cybersecurity attacks. Forget about personal information, even insurance companies, banks, and hospitals that host highly sensitive information succumb to such vicious attacks. In the face of massive data loss or downtime, these organizations have lost millions of dollars. For this reason, the growing emphasis on a fine-tuned DR strategy has nudged IT managers to look for other avenues and cloud alternatives.
While organizations may migrate their workloads to the cloud, some of them would choose to retain specific applications and data on-prem for a variety of factors. Others might choose to run their storage on-prem. In such cases, the hybrid cloud comes to the rescue. A hybrid cloud equips the company with the flexibility of keeping data on-prem while helping them create a DR environment for cloud backups, minimizing storage footprints and curtailing costs.
How to Make your Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Effective?
Since hybrid cloud environment does not work in monolith, the DR strategy should be centered around applications. Depending on the level of business impact, IT managers should assign each application to various tiers. Generally, the top-tier applications will have a great impact on a company’s RPO and RTO. So, they should be considered first while crafting a DR plan. At the same time, enabling the auto-scaling features can make the hybrid cloud disaster recovery plan economical. This is because auto-scaling configuration helps systems to scale up to meet demands as workloads get moved to the DR site.
Dishing Out an Effective DR Strategy: Follow these 5 Steps
Map out Goals, Risks, and Challenges
Making a list of systems and processes can give thorough hindsight into which assets are highly critical to the businesses and which are least critical. The next step is to detect and prioritize threats that have the potential to corrupt data and can put a dent in day-to-day operations. By doing so, organizations can gauge the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) of each system and process. While RTO measures the acceptable downtime, RPO represents the acceptable data loss. To formulate an effective DR/BCP plan, companies need to fulfill prerequisites like budgetary, compliance, and cybersecurity requirements.
Opt for the Best Hybrid Cloud Model
There is no one-size- fits-all hybrid approach to the DR/BCP strategy. Meaning, that there is a variety of hybrid cloud models like cloud-to-cloud, multi-cloud, or on-premises-to-cloud. Each of these models comes with its pros and cons, depending on factors like performance, costs, scalability, and availability. It is important for the company to assess the interoperability, compatibility, and integration of different hybrid cloud platforms.
Build a Risk-proof Hybrid Cloud Architecture
How to construct an effective hybrid cloud environment that aligns with DR/BCP goals? First, organizations need to take into account factors like storage, network, computing, security, and hybrid cloud governance models. Second, ensure the data that needs to be encrypted, replicated, backed up, and made available across hybrid cloud environments. Finally, the third and perhaps the most important step is to implement policies and processes for enabling effective management of hybrid cloud services and tools.
Enforce the Hybrid Cloud Solution
By following the three-step approach of deploying, configuring, and testing the hybrid cloud infrastructure, organizations can ensure that the applications and data are synchronized across hybrid cloud environments. Side by side, they should also track, update, and optimize hybrid cloud performance.
Replicate and Assess the Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan
Developing and implementing realistic disaster scenarios to measure the RTO and RPO of the hybrid cloud will let the companies know if their DR/BCP plan is going on the right track. Based on the feedback, they should review and consistently improve their hybrid cloud disaster recovery plans. At the same time, organizations should check if their applications and data are functional, restorable, and compliant across the hybrid cloud setup.
Train the Hybrid Cloud Team
Without teamwork, a company’s entire DR/BCP strategy will fall flat to the face. This is why training the team with the proper tools, resources, and guidance can help in the seamless implementation of the policy. In addition to this, collaborating and communicating about the DR/BCP outcomes can keep the team, stakeholders, and customers in the loop.
Charting Out the Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Best Practices
Here are five hybrid cloud disaster recovery best practices organizations can take note of:
Contingency Planning for On-Premises Mishaps
If the DR environment is hosted in a singular data center, organizations need to come up with a concrete action plan on how they can protect their data during natural disaster occurrences. Moving beyond enabling redundant servers, a company’s DR strategy should also include the implementation of an application server failover plan.
Account for Application Dependencies
When building a hybrid cloud architecture, define and prioritize the applications that need to be recovered first in case of an emergency.
List Apps that Need Manual Intervention
Usually automating DR processes can help in quick application recovery. However, with some highly mission-critical private data or applications, manual intervention can make sense as authorized individuals can implement app recovery in case of a disruption.
Consider Partial Failures
We all know that a hybrid cloud serves as a combination of on-prem servers and clouds. But what happens if each of these components stops functioning properly? An ideal DR strategy should postulate proper requirements to resolve minor issues before they start causing frequent outages.
Test the Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan Consistently
Preparing a DR strategy on hybrid cloud is just the tip of the iceberg. Testing it consistently will keep the strategy on track as well as shed light on potential flaws and issues.
Update the DR Plan
Just like how businesses need to cater to the evolving market demands, DR strategies need to also keep up with the times. Incorporating new features or adding changes to the DR plan can do the needful.
Pinpointing the Stumbling Blocks in Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Implementation
Here are some potential challenges that companies may encounter while implementing a DR strategy in the hybrid cloud environment:
- Lack of control over data hosted in multiple cloud platforms: Usually, data is distributed across on-premises and cloud environments. This gives rise to data fragmentation as every cloud platform comes with its own backup and data storage solutions. Data fragmentation leads to data loss, compliance and security issues.
- Ensuring consistent encryption of data across cloud infrastructures: Since data keeps on moving across both on-prem and hybrid environment, data encryption becomes a challenge.
- Challenges in secure replication of data across multiple cloud providers: Across the hybrid cloud environment, maintaining redundant data copies can serve as a stumbling block as it’s difficult to configure multiple availability zones to replicate data.
- Challenges in automating or orchestrating DR processes: If organizations don’t analyze application interdependencies properly, they may revive non-functional applications. This is why organizations need to consider interdependencies before disaster recovery.
Get a Hang of Advanced DRaaS Tools
- Azure Backup: Optimizes data protection in a cost-effective way.
- Azure Site Recovery: Helps in designing a cloud-native DRaaS.
- Azure Archive Storage: Archive databases on cloud at affordable costs.
- CloudEndure: Reduces downtime and data loss with the quick, reliable recovery of on-premises and cloud-based services by deploying storage, minimal compute, and point-in-time recovery.
- AWS DataSync: Mirrors files into Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for online copies.
- AWS Storage Gateway: Develops an effortless connection between on-premises environments and AWS.
- Actifio GO: Offers unified, application-centric protection for applications functioning on-premises and on Google Cloud.
- Compute Engine: Provides secure and customizable compute services that help businesses develop and run virtual machines on GCP.
- Google Cloud Deployment Manager: Automates the development and management of Google Cloud resources.
- Cloud Data Loss Prevention: Detect, categorize, and safeguard all critical data and applications.
- Data Guard: Deploys and synchronizes replicas of a production database in different physical locations to provide high availability and data protection for highly critical data.
- Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN): Assists with on-time backups, recovery, and Oracle Database migration.
- Object Storage: Automates replication of stored objects across fault domains or availability domains.
Build a Resilient Hybrid Cloud Disaster Recovery Environment with Cloud4C
While enterprises are aware that a resilient hybrid disaster recovery environment can keep their business running smoothly, the real challenge lies in making the DR process easy and affordable. This is where Cloud4C comes into play.
Being one of the leading service providers, Cloud4C offers next-gen hybrid Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solutions and Managed Services, that build, enable, and monitor a tailored hybrid cloud infrastructure delivering a zero friction, zero loss migration at maximum availability. By gaining holistic hybrid cloud services consulting and support from 2000+ best cloud experts, organizations can enable auto backup and recovery of data and workloads with strict failover-failback procedures.
With its in-built hybrid Disaster Recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions, the Cloud4C team helps to deploy best-in-class and cost-effective security and compliance measures in relation to cryptographic algorithms, key management, and data encryption. This is done to safeguard business-critical applications and data.
Thanks to Cloud4C, even the smallest portion of data will not be lost during a disaster, and businesses will function as normal. If you want to know more about our hybrid DRaaS capabilities, get in touch with our representative today!