Many people believe the data they place in the cloud is magically safe from data loss or disaster. This cannot be further from the truth. When we utilized cloud computing solutions we still have to consider backup and disaster recovery. As is with most thing (IT included) the devil is in the details.
Cloud Service Models
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service – Infrastructure to build things, ex. Amazon EC2, Rackspace
PaaS – Platform as a Service – Platform to run things. Ex Windows Azure, Force.com
SaaS – Software as a Service – Software alone nothing else. Google Apps, Microsoft Office 365
All cloud computing providers have term of service contracts governing what they will deliver and in the case of a disaster limiting their liability. These terms don’t always cover your organizations data to the level you need in order to ensure you will survive a disaster. Have you reviewed your contracts?
Know Your Provider
The best practice for working with any provider is to understand everything about how they will provide you services and protect your data and business. Working with an IT and cloud provider with the experience and expertise to deliver solutions to this level is critical to the success of your cloud projects.
Providers Offer Enhanced Backup/DR Options
Many top tier providers now offer enhanced backup and disaster recovery options. These options are critical to any investment in a long term viable cloud strategy. Because – remember it isn’t the technology that is worth anything – it is your data. So safeguard it.
Conclusion – Cloud Initiatives Still Need Backup/Disaster Recovery
Investing in cloud computing like any other IT investment requires a well researched approach. We must understand the risks and engage a trusted IT provider to help us navigate these sometime nebulous cloud computing issues. Make sure backup and disaster recovery are baked into any of your cloud plans from the get go and avoid the potential headaches and cost of an cloud implementation without the critical requirement of backup and disaster recovery.