How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Disaster Response

How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Disaster Response

There is no doubt that computers and the internet have reshaped our world. It is amazing to see how many changes have resulted from a greater level of interconnectedness in the world. Of course, everything good comes with one or two downsides, and this is no exception. The biggest downside of the information age is the problem of data security. The ever-present danger of a data disaster makes it necessary to have a comprehensive response plan in place. So, how should the cloud figure into that response plan? Read on, and you can learn a little bit more.

It’s All About The Backups

If you have ever tried your hand at computer repair, you probably know about the “system restore” function. This is an old Windows feature that allows you to restore your computer to an earlier time. Thus, if you accidentally install an infected program or something like that, it becomes easy to reverse the damage. Recovering from a data disaster is done in much this same way.

When data loss occurs, you simply go to your backups and restore the system from there. Another way to do this is by creating something called a “system image.” This is just a disk that contains a condensed version of your entire system in a single file. And, of course, you could always use a whole bunch of external hard drives to achieve the same thing.

So, that brings us to the cloud backup option. Most cloud services can be configured to create automatic backup files as often as you would like. This means you won’t have to worry about any manual backups. It’s much faster than using a restore point, a system image, or external hard disks, and the data recovery tends to be more extensive. That’s because a cloud backup will normally save more often than those other methods.

Cloud Disaster Recovery Tends To Be Cheaper And Easier

Recovering from a data disaster is never pleasant, but the cloud does make it an easier task. In fairness, we should mention that your cloud provider needs to be a diligent one. If you choose a cloud provider that doesn’t have the expertise to run things properly, your backups might be incomplete, corrupted, or even nonexistent. Still, as long as you choose a good company with whom to do business, things should be far easier than normal.

So, will you save money by using the cloud for your disaster plan? Yes, you most likely will. This is mostly because of the fact that cloud backups are normally done automatically. If anyone has to take any action, it will be your cloud provider or their employees. This kind of plan will also eliminate any need to purchase physical storage for any of your backups.

Another reason for the reduced cost of cloud backup systems would be scalability. All your data, including backups, requires physical storage in at least one location. When you choose the cloud, that physical space is provided to you on an as-needed basis. Obviously, more storage equals a higher monthly rate, but a little bit of attentiveness will ensure that no money is wasted.

Cloud Backups Tend To Be More Secure

Let’s think about a common scenario for a moment: Your computer network crashes, resulting in data loss. In response, you go to your main control computer and attempt to recover the data. When you get there, you notice that the control computer has also been infected. Although it was better-protected than the rest, it was still on the same network and was probably compromised in the same way.

At this point, it would be of great benefit to have a cloud services provider. Because their data is stored in a faraway location, and because they have separate networks for their own use, this data is less likely to be compromised. To be fair, it should be noted that cloud providers have been hacked in the past, but only because some cloud providers do not take the time to secure things properly.

Cloud Backups Are Highly Customizable

We have talked a lot about automatic backups and why they are essential. However, there is one important fact that we haven’t addressed. Some data is much more valuable, and therefore needs to be protected more tightly. Thankfully, most cloud providers will allow you to have a tiered plan wherein you can organize your data in terms of importance.

To give you the short version, more important files will be backed up more often. The less important files will be backed up less often or not at all. This is good because it means you will only be paying for the services that you actually need. When creating a tiered system, all you have to do is think about which services are essential to the daily operation of your business.

What If The Cloud Is Down?

Although the cloud is a great tool for disaster recovery, it does have its limits. Mainly, the fact that every cloud network goes down from time to time. This might be done for purposes of routine maintenance or it might be an accident, but either way, your disaster can become much bigger if the cloud is down at the time. For this reason, you should maintain at least a minimal non-cloud backup system. Just make sure you don’t spend too much money on something that you might never use! Most cloud services are reliable enough to make this problem a rarity, so it really is a last-ditch option.

Conclusion

Not everyone likes the cloud, but there are reasons for its growing popularity. It offers an unprecedented level of convenience in several areas, and disaster recovery is probably the biggest one. Sure, data loss doesn’t exactly happen every day, but it could happen on any given day. As such, anything that helps you to weather that storm with little to no damage deserves a second look. If you agree, please fill out the contact form below to learn more about our services.