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Surviving Hurricane Season with the Cloud Featured

Surviving Hurricane Season with the Cloud "Hurricane map"

Individuals responsible for the continued operation of an organization’s computer systems are challenged by extreme weather events. Some potential issues are more predictable than others. Data centers located in areas that are prone to hurricanes can expect to be impacted by the storms on a fairly regular basis. The increased proliferation of extremely strong and large hurricanes has made it more important than ever to have plans in place that maintain business operations when disaster strikes.

Cloud providers have multiple options available that address the issue of protecting computing resources when a hurricane causes widespread damage and power outages. Generally, two different strategies can be employed to take advantage of the cloud to provide the necessary protection. 

Diversification of Computing Resources

One of the reasons behind the popularity of hybrid cloud solutions is that they offer organizations a great degree of flexibility regarding where their computing resources are physically located. The possibilities are virtually unlimited regarding how an enterprise chooses to split its environment between on-premises and cloud implementations. 

A way to guard against the loss of specific business-critical systems is to move them to the cloud where they will not be impacted by localized disasters. This can be done on a case-by-case basis as applications are reviewed to determine their value to the business. Strategically moving a few systems to the cloud can give an organization the protection it needs to survive an extended outage while keeping the business alive.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

Many large and small cloud providers have DRaaS offerings as part of their portfolios. Based on the business needs and resources available on the customer side, there are three different types of DRaaS solutions that an enterprise can adopt.

Managed DRaaS - In this variation of DRaaS, the responsibility for providing disaster recovery services is completely with the cloud vendor. Service level agreements (SLAs) are used to guarantee the results for customers.

Assisted DRaaS - The customer retains more control over DR procedures in this type of DRaaS offering while still taking advantage of the vendor’s technical expertise. This methodology can be useful when dealing with custom applications that can best be supported by the customer. 

Self-service DRaaS - In this model, the customer provides the technical expertise and is responsible for managing the cloud disaster recovery environment. It is a good option for enterprises with a high degree of experience in executing a disaster recovery plan. 

It’s Never Too Late to Get Prepared

Some organizations choose to gamble on their ability to survive hurricane season without any additional expenditures or preparedness plans. The intensity of storms in recent years has encroached on localities that may have previously escaped their fury. It might be time for IT management to reassess the state of the disaster recovery procedures in place and address the possibility that their on-premises data center and business-critical applications may be at risk.

Taking advantage of the cloud enables a business to quickly add the computing capacity required to protect its computing environment. If your company does not have viable disaster recovery plans in place, now is the time to get prepared. Don’t wait until the data center is under a few feet of water. 

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 Robert Agar

I am a freelance writer who graduated from Pace University in New York with a Computer Science degree in 1992. Over the course of a long IT career I have worked for a number of large service providers in a variety of roles revolving around data storage and protection. I currently reside in northeastern Pennsylvania where I write from my home office.

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