Cloud Computing Disaster Recovery: Is It Everything You Hoped For?
Alot of people go on and on about the disadvantages and risks associated with cloud computing.
And to be sure– there are many!
But perhaps the benefits are worth taking a risk. After all, society is quickly becoming connected in ways we could never have dreamed possible. Cloud computing has built on the foundations of the internet to provide us with web-based email, YouTube, and social networking sites… It’s already pretty difficult to imagine life without them!
So how are we going to handle the risks? Are there any ways we can help to minimize the disadvantages?
The Problem in a Nutshell
One of the main concerns with cloud computing comes from issues surrounding data security. Once files are uploaded into the cloud, the user gives up a degree of control over how their data is stored and protected. (In some cases, even OWNERSHIP of uploaded material can be in question.)
This can be a really scary prospect for cloud computing users. Not only for individuals, but for businesses as well. Data sensitivity in the digital age has become a primary focus of the IT industry as a whole. To be fair, data security has always been an issue since the early days of the internet, but cloud computing has only made that issue more complicated!
A Possible Solution
However, the industry is responding to the threat of data loss by offering a new kind of service called “disaster recovery as a service” or “DRaaS“. Essentially, companies who specialize in this service help to protect, backup and/or retrieve cloud computing data in the event of– you guessed it– a disaster!
A “disaster” could mean anything from a server crash or blue screen to data theft.
Let’s say you’re a small business owner, hosting the majority of your transaction files, invoices and tax information on a cloud server. You’d probably freak out if you went online one day and found that your files were corrupted or unavailable– and understandably so!
But just breathe for a second– many cloud computing companies have preemptively prepared for these scenarios. In fact, generally speaking, there is a quicker recovery time for users who experience a “disaster” if they’re using a cloud computing service rather than their own computing hardware.
It makes sense. If you’re storing all of your files on a hard drive at the office, there’s not much you can do if something goes wrong. At least not right away! You’ll need call the IT department (or hire a specialist if you aren’t big enough to have an IT department) and it might take a long time for them to get to you, figure out the problem AND get your files back…. hopefully!
Cloud computing companies realize that the loss of data is a huge threat to the success of their business and many have created responsive and effective departments that specialize in DRaaS. They likely have a backup system with copies or another kind of fail-safe that will ensure your data doesn’t disappear entirely.
If you do choose to move into the cloud, it’s important to pay attention to your contracts and service level agreement (or SLA) to make sure you know what kind of backup protection, if any, is guaranteed.
Ironically, however, this brings us full-circle: How many copies of your important files do you really want floating around out there in cyberspace? DRaaS may give you some peace of mind, but are you just trading one problem for a different one?
One thing is likely– with more and more people trusting their information to the cloud, it won’t be long before users start demanding that all cloud computing services guarantee both data backup AND data security.
At Technology Chronicle you can learn more information on future technology and cloud computing disaster recovery: technologychronicle.com