5 Benefits of Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

shutterstock_146680703One of the biggest use cases for the cloud – in fact, the biggest, in the case of hosted private cloud – is for backup and disaster recovery. It adds up to one thing: Organizations are counting on the cloud to make sure they retain access to their critical corporate data.

Companies are putting their money where their mouth is, too: Forrester estimates in 2015, companies will spend over $90 billion on cloud services. Specifically, IDC estimates that backup-as-a-service and recover-as-a-service will account for $1.023 billion by 2018. And Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of disaster recovery (DR) operations will run in the cloud.

As the cloud has become more accepted, an increasing number of organizations have been putting their data into the cloud. But for the cloud to become a useful repository for disaster recovery, that means that organizations need to be able to get their data out as well.


It all starts with organizations realizing how important disaster recovery is. Until recently, disaster recovery didn’t get the attention it deserved from businesses because of the cost and complexity of doing it right. Moreover, business units didn’t see a direct benefit from disaster recovery — until a disaster occurred.

IDC estimates that as many as 50% of organizations have inadequate disaster recovery plans. In fact, IDC warns, such companies might not survive as a going concern after a significant disaster because of their inability to recover IT systems.

“In many cases, IT managers may have only a vague idea of how they would reestablish application services, lack up-to-date runbooks, and have no contingent personnel plan,” IDC writes. “Disasters do happen and not always to the other guy.” But as many as two-thirds of organizations don’t have any disaster recovery strategy at all, warns the 451 Group. Until the cloud, most disaster recovery scenarios involved significant costs to guard against a relatively rare occurrence – a scenario that led to too many organizations not giving disaster recovery the attention that it deserved.

“While a DR budget from IT may be submitted annually to management, it always seems to be the first thing dropped from the overall budget as soon as constraints are applied,” IDC writes. “Management often experiences sticker shock at the cost of DR for something perceived as a remote possibility.”

What’s worse, though, is that individual business units might not be aware that the company doesn’t have a disaster recovery plan, simply blithely assuming that operations would be restored promptly after a disaster. The best way to persuade management to spend the money it takes to do
disaster recovery right? Figure out how much it would cost not to have it. IDC research indicates that the average cost of downtime is about $100,000 per hour, although it can go as high as $1.6 million per hour for some organizations. And recovery from a true disaster could take several days or even weeks without adequate planning.

In fact, IDC also found that most organizations experienced between 10 hours and 20 hours of unplanned downtime per year, even without a disaster. The good news? An average organization could spend between $1 million and $2 million on a contingency system and still achieve a one year return on its investment, just by eliminating that downtime.

Best of all, with the emergence of cloud computing, there are now full blown disaster recovery solutions available to small, medium-sized, and large businesses alike that help companies reduce costs without sacrificing service.


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