Virtualizing disaster recovery using cloud computing

Almost from the beginning of widespread adoption of computers,
organizations realized that disaster recovery was a necessary
component of their information technology (IT) plans. Business
data had to be backed up, and key processes like order entry,
billing, payroll and procurement needed to continue even if an
organization’s data center was disabled due to a disaster. Over
time, two distinct disaster recovery models emerged: dedicated
and shared. Although both of these approaches were effective,
they often forced organizations to choose between cost
and speed.
As we fast forward 50 years to today’s “always-on” world, it is
apparent that the flow of information and commerce in our
global business environment never sleeps. With the demands of
an around-the-clock world, organizations need to think in terms
of application continuity in the face of interruptions, not just as a
result of infrequent disasters. Likewise, disaster recovery service
providers need to enable more seamless, nearly instantaneous
failover and failback of critical business applications. Yet given
the reality that most IT budgets are flat or even lower than they
once were, organizations must be able to obtain these services
without incurring significant up-front or ongoing expenditures.
Cloud-based business resilience can provide an attractive alternative
to traditional disaster recovery, offering both the shorter
recovery time associated with a dedicated infrastructure and the
reduced costs that are consistent with a shared recovery model.
With pay-as-you-go pricing and the ability to scale up as conditions
change, cloud computing can help organizations meet the
expectations of today’s frenetic, fast paced environment where
IT demands continue to increase but budgets do not.
This white paper discusses traditional approaches to disaster
recovery and describes how organizations can use cloud computing
to help plan for both the mundane interruptions to service—
such as cut power lines, server hardware failures and security
breaches—as well as less frequent disasters. The paper examines
key factors you should consider when planning for the transition
to cloud-based business resilience and in selecting your cloud