Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery: Demystified

There has been a lot of buzz around using the cloud for disaster recovery lately, and with good reason -- it's a new and compelling approach to fast recovery. However, along with any hype comes a certain amount of confusion, so I set out to get some clarity on what cloud-based disaster recovery really is. The core feature of any cloud-based recovery is that ability to actually recover at the providers' location using their cloud assets. Just copying data there is not true recovery. I also realized that the term "cloud-based disaster recovery" was too broad, and that actually solutions fall into one of three categories:

  • Do-it-yourself (DIY): Using the public cloud to architect a custom failover solution leveraging the agility and speed of the cloud.

  • DR-as-a-service (DRaaS): Prepackaged services that provide a standard DR failover to a cloud environment that you can buy on a pay-per-use basis with varying rates based upon your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). Data is either sent using backups or replication.

  • Cloud-to-cloud disaster recovery (C2C DR): The ability to failover infrastructure from one cloud data center to another, either within a single vendor's environment or across multiple vendors. 

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