The Hybrid Cloud and DR: A Marriage Made in Heaven
Author: Dan Beauregard Posted: Mar 09, 2015

George Crump of Storage Switzerland points out in his blog “What is Hybrid Cloud Backup?” that it’s not good to just put your data out in the cloud — you really need a hybrid solution where you keep an appliance on site that handles any local recovery and restores you need to do and only use the cloud in case you truly have a disaster.

We do agree with George that a local appliance is an important part of a recovery solution, both for quick local restores as well as enabling an efficient failback after a recovery event. However, I find we way too often blur the lines between what it means to deliver a backup product as opposed to a true disaster recovery solution. There is more to DR than just storing data and protecting it in the cloud. As George points out, the hybrid appliance plays an important role, but when comparing hybrid cloud DR to hybrid cloud backup, many of the technologies used by traditional or even cloud backup providers will have a hard time translating into a cost-efficient and scalable DR solution that delivers on the true benefits of the cloud.

George states, “…many cloud backup providers have evolved into Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) providers that are focused on significantly reducing recovery time in the event of a disaster.” This is the legacy vendor perspective, however, as its really hard for a technology that’s built to do something else to evolve into providing DR in the cloud. The technologies are different, and often the platforms that they were designed for have changed. One of the phrases we use to describe ourselves at OneCloud is “purpose-built” — we’re purpose-built to take advantage of the cloud economics and the cloud platforms that they run on.

Hybrid Cloud DR has been referred to as the killer app for the cloud because of the possibility to bring faster recovery at a lower cost to many organizations that have struggled with a true end-to-end DR solution. Delivering this will require a new way of thinking:

  • DR has always been a complex and multistage operation (protection, recovery, and failback).  With Hybrid Cloud DR, this only becomes more challenging, as you are introducing a second platform which has its own management tools and cost structure.  Any successful Hybrid Cloud DR solution must introduce a high level of workflow and automation.  The ability to simplify the otherwise complex process is critical for adoption.
  • Running your applications in the cloud is not as simple as just turning on your VMs when there is a failure. In order to drive the most economical DR implementation, there may be a translation or conversion that must take place to map your application to the cloud platform. Doing this and doing it efficiently is critical.
  •  Network connectivity and security is a major factor. You have to ask: How are my employees or customers going to have access to my applications? DNS, VPN, network bandwidth and latency all play important roles and must be incorporated into any true DR solution.

MSPs and their customers who are looking for a hybrid cloud DR solution should be looking at solutions that have been designed from the ground up to optimize and take advantage of the cost benefits that the cloud has to offer. Companies like OneCloud Software are tackling cloud DR challenges head-on. We’re focusing on ease of use, scalability and cost-optimization but, most importantly, we’re offering a revolutionary new way of doing DR that truly is optimized for the hybrid cloud.

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