Data Backup Considerations for Cloud Computing as Implementation Evolves

Cloud computing is now being adopted by types of organizations at differing levels of expertise and experience.  These cloud services include analytics, business application, development and collaboration projects.

Start-ups were the early adopters of cloud computing using mission critical applications. The benefits to these start-ups were fast implementation, pay-as-you-go terms, scalability and reduced need for high-level in-house IT expertise, to name a few. Large enterprises initially used cloud applications for development projects, analytics, and other less mission-critical needs.

However, there is now a growing interest in cloud applications by large enterprises with established IT staffs.

Cloud BackupThis interest is demonstrated by the investment large providers such as SAP are making in offering mission-critical offerings to their large enterprise customers. An example is the SAP HANA Cloud platform. As they state on their website, “Quickly build innovative consumer-grade and industry apps for today’s always-on, mobile, social, and data-driven world. Deploy and manage them on a highly scalable, secure platform that leverages the in-memory computing power of SAP HANA.” This is very attractive to any size enterprise. The cloud is rapidly becoming a business critical solution for any enterprise.

Cloud computing is also offering the ability for an enterprise to collaborate with other organizations, external suppliers and customers. As stated in Cloud Computing for Business : What is Cloud? 

“Cloud computing enables businesses to think and act beyond the “four walls” of the company through exchange of services. They can access marketplace best practice solutions, and select effective IT services from multiple sources to meet their needs faster and at lower cost. An ecosystem exists where participants in a defined market have integrated business processes and use common standards for exchange of information, products, and services. In today’s world, companies are participating in highly collaborative ecosystems providing their specific expertise to create end-to-end services. This will become more important in the future.”

The Evolutionary Process of Cloud Implementation

An enterprise will progress through its evolutionary process of implementing a cloud solution. First, it may implement non-critical applications. As that goes well, the company will gradually begin to implement mission critical applications until the entire data center is a cloud implementation. Cloud applications will interact with in-house applications for a period of time as all issues of concern are worked out or accepted. As that all goes well the enterprise will progress into collaborating with other organizations and their cloud applications sharing data and initiating actions such as orders and shipments.

While this is happening, governance, security and resilience must be progressing in a synchronized fashion. Data Backup and Recovery processes must be modified accordingly.

Data backup and recovery processes must follow the evolutionary process. While the data can alternatively remain within the customer’s network and backed up off-site to the customer’s choice backup location, the data backup and recovery processes can be managed in the cloud. The data may or may not be in the cloud with the model of remote data backup administration. When the term “cloud” is mentioned, we visualize an “all or nothing” scenario. We think that the data must be replicated to its backup site. We also imagine that the management of the DR processes and the data together must be in the cloud. But, alternative models are possible.

To further discuss the subject of cloud data backup and recovery management, contact Salvus Data Consultants at 903-201-7233. They are Data Backup/Recovery Managed Service Providers that provide remote management of the Backup process, along with professional Disaster Backup and Recovery consultation.

 

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Enterprises are moving to the Cloud in Progressive Steps

Large enterprise are taking steps toward a total cloud data center.

In the post on GIGAOM’s survey results Survey: What the Enterprise Cloud Needs to Become Business-Critical, they state “Many organizations are now progressing beyond these workloads, putting cloud computing to work in support of business-critical applications and workloads.” The post goes on to say “Sixty-six percent of respondents consider one or more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications to be business-critical today, and a significant number also support critical workloads with public Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) compute and storage offerings.”Complex data

However, adoption of a total cloud environment may continue to be impacted with concerns over security, meeting regulations, network bandwidth, and transition costs.

In response to these issues, an enterprise will first implement non-critical applications. As that goes well, the company will gradually begin to implement mission critical applications until the entire data center is a cloud implementation. Cloud applications will interact with in-house applications for a period of time as all issues of concern are worked out or accepted.

Data backup and recovery can follow a similar progression. The data can alternatively remain within the customer’s network and backed up off site to the customer’s choice backup location. The data backup and recovery processes can be managed in the cloud. The data may or may not be in the cloud with the model of remote data backup administration. When the term “cloud” is mentioned, we visualize an “all or nothing” scenario. We think that the data must be replicated to its backup site. We also imagine that the management of the DR processes and the data together must be in the cloud. But, alternative models are possible.

There are Data Backup/Recovery Managed Service Providers that provide remote management of the Backup process, along with professional Disaster Backup and Recovery consultation. To further discuss the subject of cloud data backup and recovery management, contact Salvus Data Consultants at 903-201-7233

Server Replication Using Cloud Computing Is Not The Total Solution for Disaster Recovery

Cloud computing is providing opportunities for faster disaster recovery processes. These opportunities are causing companies to leap before they they have considered all aspects and objectives of their Disaster Recovery processes.

Restore BackupWith cloud computing, the data backup can be accomplished by encapsulating the entire server through virtualization. Then this virtual server can be copied to the off-site location. This seems to be a very attractive alternative to the traditional method of disaster recovery due to its ease and speed. However, there are further considerations that must be considered.

Richard Cocchiara, who is CTO and the Managing Partner of Consulting for IBM’s Business Continuity & Resiliency Services states in an article called Cloud computing causing rethinking of disaster recovery “So in addition doing replication of data to another server, we still recommend backup because you can recover individual files to a point in time.”

There are real life situations that require the ability to “look back in time”. Data backup and recovery strategies must meet company policies regarding regulatory requirements, data breaches, ability to respond to court orders, and more.

Consider that data is not only to be backed up for protection of a catastrophic event, but, it also needs to be restored in different ways for different purposes and meet varying requirements. This requires coordinated strategies and testing. Data Backup strategies must be planned and tested to assure all company requirements regarding data retention and recovery are met.

When the term “cloud” is mentioned, we visualize an “all or nothing” scenario. We think that the data must be replicated to its backup site. We also imagine that the management of the DR processes and the data together must be in the cloud. But, these models are not the only that are possible.

In the case of data backup and recovery, for instance, the data can alternatively remain within the customer’s network and deployed off site at the customer’s choice location. The DR processes can be managed in the cloud. The data does not have to be in the cloud with the data backup administration. These two entities can be distinct.

There are Data Backup/Recovery Managed Service Providers that provide remote management of the Backup process, along with professional Disaster Backup and Recovery consultation. To further discuss the subject of cloud data backup and recovery management, contact Salvus Data Consultants.