Thursday, August 30, 2012

Everyone out of the house, this is an emergency!

This is not a drill. I hope this scenario never happens to anyone, but we’ve all gone through the mental planning process.  1) Kids, 2) spouse, 3) pets... What if there was 10 extra seconds (family photos?), 20 (special heirloom?)? Point is, we all prioritize the list of most important things to continue our lives as we go based on our situation and time to get out. 

We have a lot of conversations around business continuity / disaster recovery (BC/DR) in the cloud. Anywhere / anytime access, pay only for what you use, cloud lends itself to being the perfect platform to enable BC/DR for any organization. However, time and time again we hear customers saying they’ve looked at the cloud but it’s just too expensive when you run the numbers.

When we drill into what they’re trying to put in the cloud for BC/DR, it typically ends up being entire sets of organizational backups. While this might be great if you can afford it, the fact is, most of us can’t. So all your important data remains on tape; or worse, only on the servers they were generated on.

BC/DR is about speed to resume core operations. In business, the most important data is typically the most recently used. A current study showed that more than 90% of data is untouched over a 4 month period. Why would you want to pack (and later unpack) all of your data to get back to business when most of it isn't needed? Will you even have the tools to do it after the disaster?

BC/DR in the cloud should be looked at like evacuating your house in an emergency, and the time you have to escape is your budget. Start with your monthly budget.  From this you can easily determine the amount of cloud storage you can afford.  Then look at how many days worth of recently accessed data this translates into. Both Linux and Windows environments offer fairly simple ways to search (and copy) files based on last accessed date. Most organizations are surprised at how much time they will get on even a modest budget. 

From here it’s very straightforward, you copy the most recently accessed files according to your budget into cloud storage with automatic retention-time rules set on that data.  Then each night, just update the files changed that day with the same retention rules. That’s it! You now have a rolling storage repository of your most important data that can be accessed anytime and anywhere on the budget you set.

Contact us for more information on how to enable real BC/DR solutions using the cloud on any budget.

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