How the cloud has improved Disaster Recovery

Taking advantage of the cloud makes Disaster Recovery solutions more cost effective and reliable.

It’s now crystal clear for businesses that in order for organisations to survive a Disaster Recovery incident, they need a strong Business Continuity plan in place. After all, only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term.

Prior to the cloud and solutions like Veeam cloud connect, traditional DR was typically time-consuming and expensive but thanks to innovation, customers can now take advantage of both backup and replication technology, with customisable Recovery Time Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RTO).

Traditional solutions

Disaster RecoveryBefore cloud technology became the norm, most DR solutions were based around the process of physically storing information on external disks and then transporting this data off-site to a ‘secure’ second location.

Preparation and recovery time

As you’ve probably experienced, transferring large amounts of data can be time-consuming. Now imagine copying over hundreds of terabytes of data for a business.  Not only is it time-consuming, but the business would have also had to pay for the engineer to monitor the backups and ensure that the data transfer is successful. The organisation would then have to arrange for secure transportation to escort the files to another location.

Simplicity

Not only is the preparation time lengthy, in the event of an incident, an engineer would have to collect or arrange for the data to be transferred back to the primary site should an incident occur. They would then either have to restore all of the business data, which is a repeat of the lengthy process above or find the specific files that need restoring.

Managed services

With technology today, data can be protected instantaneously and transferred to a second location via the internet. When they are lost they can also be restored quickly. With customisable recovery points and times, businesses are truly in charge of their recovery process and even better, data is backed up or replicated automatically so there’s less human error involved, meaning the IT department can focus on more important aspects. If this isn’t suitable for your organisation, you could also completely outsource your disaster recovery solution to your cloud vendor.

Reduced costs

Through faster recovery times and reduced downtime, organisations are also preventing loss of income. As Recovery as a Service solutions are typically provided through a third-party cloud vendor the business avoids paying for engineers to complete mundane tasks such as backing up the information, they can be focusing their attention on other important areas of the business.

Not only this but by utilising a virtual service there is no need to purchase disk space to back up the data, let alone paying for a secure location to store the information. It’s also important to consider what would happen if a disk was to corrupt and the data was to become unavailable. If the business couldn’t justify any data loss, then two backups would have to be taken.

Security

Looking back, it’s also quite interesting to ponder how many businesses would have cut corners. How many IT managers actually stored the tapes offsite? Were they actually stored in a secure place or just in someone’s house? Were compliance regulations met? Thankfully, with modern Business Continuity solutions, these files can be stored offsite on a vendor’s platform as part of the solution.

For advice on protecting your business in the cloud, speak to the experts or take part in our 14 day Veeam Cloud Connect trial.

 

Disaster Recovery & Backup should be as cheap as chips

A Blog by Richard May

Since virtualDCS started providing DR and backup services in 2008, the technologies have come a long way.

Gone are the days of selling on-site boxes for thousands of pounds in order to provide backup and DR solutions. DR as a Service is here, and capable of providing all the options you dreamt of but were just not affordable. Did you know that without buying any software you can get backup and DR for your servers from many providers for as little as 5p per GB?

I am now going to highlight a few things that have changed between 2008 and now.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the amount of data you can afford to lose in a Disaster. This was once a subject of great debate, prompting questions such as ‘Do you backup daily?’, ‘Can I have my data copied in real time to a separate location?’, ‘What data changes the most?’ and ‘How much can I afford to lose?’

Disaster Recovery and BackupRight now as standard, the amount of data you would lose really depends on how quickly your data changes and how much bandwidth you have to process those changes. Technology for both backup and replication now allows continuous copying of data. Changes are written to the backup location ASAP; when one is complete, the next begins. So no more daily backups are required, you can now have loads of recovery points on a file-by-file basis.

This means that if you get a Ransomware virus at 6 pm, you will no longer be losing all files from the day, you can simply recover to the point the virus hit. All this is achieved with a simple backup solution.

Backup is now like replication. So, what now is the difference with Disaster Recovery solutions? The answer to this is (RTO) Recovery Time Objective, the amount of time it will take to be operational after a disaster.

A backup means you need to restore your data somewhere, usually back to your site, and this will often mean recovery times are at least 24 hours for a major incident i.e. more than just a few files. A Disaster recovery solution puts you in control of your recovery – temporary machines are waiting to be started by you at any point, just by logging into a web page.  This means that within minutes of a disaster, your solution and files can be available to you, to be accessed from anywhere in the world.

DR and backup is all about managing risk. Solutions like the above can now be implemented in minutes with little or no help. In fact, trying them is as simple as finding a new app for your phone.

 The main things to think about are:

  • Do I have a good Internet connection? It does not have to be as large as you might think.
  • Would I be able to use my applications if I were not on the local network? Where there’s a will there’s a way.
  • Do I really need workplace recovery? With the cloud, we can just work from anywhere.
  • Do I need to continue paying thousands for my current solution or even a new one?

Name drop time… you can achieve the above for desktops or servers with products like Veeam Cloud Connect and Nimbox. These services are not only available to end users, but resellers can also sell affordable DR solutions to their customers.

If you’d like to speak to someone about protecting your data, contact us below.

 

 

Disaster Recovery in three steps

Protecting your business information is as easy as 1, 2, 3. So why not make 2017 the year your business finally protects its assets?

Did you know that according to FEMA, almost 40% of SMBs never reopen following a disaster? With new innovations such as Veeam Cloud Connect, there’s no excuse not to protect your data. We’ve compiled a three-step process to help you avoid being one of these businesses and to assist in evaluating your Business Continuity requirements.

Disaster Recovery - Veeam Cloud ConnectStep 1: Evaluate potential threats

The first step is to think of all the potential disasters that could cause issues within your business. Think about fires, flooding, strong winds, human error, IT incidents and power cuts. A lot of these issues can be reduced significantly, simply by assigning internal roles to employees and providing health and safety workshops.

Step 2: Analyse the impact

The second step is to think about how these potential disasters would impact the business. The first thing to do is to take a look at the core business functions and identify the systems and information that your business would need to operate.

Step 3: Develop the plan

Once you have a clear image of your business weaknesses you can develop your disaster recovery plan. Your strategy needs to discuss how to restore your business to normal operations, including your data, services, facilities and people. Once you have a clear disaster recovery plan in place, share your plans with others in your organisation, test and refine these solutions.
virtualDCS can help you put together a disaster recovery strategy based on your business requirements, and depending on your needs you and your data could be back up and running within minutes.

Contact us today for more information and free advice on how to protect your business data.

The benefits of being a cloud reseller

The cloud computing industry is now worth billions. This fast-paced sector is not set to slow down anytime soon, with revenue from Public IT cloud services alone being estimated to hold a market value of $127B by 2018.

As the industry grows, businesses want to migrate to the cloud to seek its advantages and this is where they typically contact a cloud provider. As the cloud is a thriving industry, IT suppliers want to be able to offer these cloud services out to customers. Therefore, instead of creating their own cloud platform to accommodate customer requirements, IT suppliers are becoming resellers and partnering with existing cloud providers.

So, what are the benefits of being a cloud reseller as opposed to creating your own cloud platform?

Ease of entry

cloud resellerVendors already have a cloud platform in place, where they run and maintain the system for existing customers. As the reseller is, in essence, renting the space on the platform, all these elements continue to be managed by the vendor, including off-site backups. When a solution is designed, you and your customer can be up and on the platform in no time at all.

Cost savings

Usually, all this technology comes with a price, however, as a reseller, you don’t have to pay to maintain the infrastructure as you would when creating your own cloud platform. Traditionally, costs would include an IT team to manage the infrastructure, hardware costs to manage the upscaling process, and power costs.

As a reseller, all you would pay for is the resources and services your customer uses.  From this base cost, you’d then add on any additional service costs from you on to their final bill.

Maintain control of customers

Many cloud vendors offer resellers the opportunity to retain and manage the customers themselves. As an example, virtualDCS offers both a reseller scheme and a referral scheme. The reseller scheme allows the reseller to maintain control of their customers, which includes all points of contact including invoicing.

Training and support

Cloud vendors want to ensure that their resellers have a smooth and profitable experience working with them, which is why they offer comprehensive support, and if needed training. This can include marketing assistance, sales assistance, and technical support.

If you were to create your cloud platform from scratch instead of partnering, these are resources that you’d have to source or create yourself.

Build your brand

Many vendors also offer a white labelling option, which means that you can re-brand the service provided by your reseller and sell it as your own. This builds your own business brand recognition, whilst taking advantage of outsourced experts.

If you’d like your business to profit reselling the cloud and would like more information on the reseller and partner schemes that virtualDCS offer, please get in touch or visit our partner pages.

Cloud IT infrastructure spend to reach £36.6bn in 2017

The figures have been recently announced by IDC and gathered from the firm’s latest quarterly cloud IT infrastructure tracker.

SPLAResearch argues that the primary spend, at a rate of 61%, will come from public cloud data centres, while off-premise private cloud environments will contribute to 15% of the total spent. The overall spend on IT infrastructure will increase by 18.2% in 2017, while spending on the traditional infrastructure will decline by a resounding 3.3% this year alone.

“In the coming quarters, growth in spending on cloud IT infrastructure will be driven by investments done by new hyperscale data centres opening across the globe and increasing the activity of tier two and regional service providers,” said Natalya Yezhkova, storage research director at IDC in a statement.

“Another significant boost to overall spending on cloud IT infrastructure will be coming from on-premises private cloud deployments as end users continue gaining knowledge and experience in setting up and managing cloud IT within their own data centres,” Yezhkova added.

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