The world is abuzz with cloud mania but that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fix for everything. Not even in disaster recovery (DR) – where the cloud is arguably most useful.
In fact, a misstep in cloud use can totally train wreck your DR efforts. So, when is it wise not to use the cloud in DR? We asked three top experts to give you their tips.
Andi Mann, vice president of product marketing at CA Technologies, an IT management software and solutions company that serves Fortune 500 companies: A few scenarios come to mind. For one, workloads that have large data volumes may be difficult to recover to a cloud, especially an external or public cloud. The need to transfer big data volumes can simply make external recovery impractical, if not impossible. Local or private cloud recovery will not always have the same issues, but even across a high-speed WAN, inter-data center recovery may still take too long to be useful.
Workloads that have strict compliance requirements may not be appropriate for cloud recovery either, depending on your cloud destination. If you are recovering a customer payment application to a public cloud, for example, you may not be able to maintain PCI-DSS compliance; if you are recovering a health care patient data application, you may not be able to maintain HIPAA compliance. This may force internal or private cloud recovery, but you may be able to work with an external provider to ensure compliance.
Workloads that depend on specific hardware – like industrial equipment, barcode scanners, or graphics chips (e.g. for design applications) – may also pose significant challenges. Mostly, such hardware requires a local hard connection or specific device support, and cloud systems depend substantially on hardware independence. These types of workload may therefore require a specific and dedicated selection of hardware for failover and recovery purposes, which makes cloud DR more difficult, though not necessarily impossible.
Lawrence Guillory, CEO of Racemi, a provider of rapid imaging and cloud migration solutions: Core business data, for now, is not something you want residing outside of your business. We believe you should first use the compute power for all of the different use cases where public clouds make sense, and until you have the processes and security well accepted and the risk well mitigated, you should not consider allowing core business data to leave your own IT services.
And even then, we believe it should likely remain on-premises where you can maintain 100% responsibility for the security of your core business data.
Michael Miora, president and founder of security and disaster recovery consultancy firm, ContingenZ Corporation, author and a professor at Norwich University’s Masters of Science in Information Assurance and Masters of Science in Business Continuity programs: If you are an organization with multiple and geographically dispersed locations, and have sufficient storage at each location so that you can replicate all the information in multiple places, then your best option may be to store data in multiple at your own locations. This way, you stay in complete control.
Related Information From Dell.com: Dell and Cloud Computing.