Moving Backup and Recovery to the Cloud

September 16, 2016

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Moving IT backup and recovery systems to the cloud is rapidly becoming the most practical starting point for businesses striving to modernize their IT and save money.

After all, data is the lifeblood of any organization, and a business is only as safe as the stability of its backup operations. Most businesses are unable to tolerate significant data loss and downtime in a crisis. That is why failure to protect your data adequately by addressing the requirements of reliable, secure backup can put your business’ brand and success at instant risk.

Research supports that businesses are actively harnessing the cloud for data protection and mitigated risk. According to Gartner Inc. industry analysts, by 2020, nine out of 10 organizations will be storing their data in the cloud. Most of these organizations need hybrid and public cloud support for geo-redundant backup without the unnecessary capital expensive of multiple datacenters. They are choosing to leverage and build upon the cloud’s automation, economy, security, and reliability to ensure their business’ safety, stability and sustainability.

So what services are a priority for today’s business executives? Cloud-supported BaaS (Backup as a Service), DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) and BC/DR (business continuity/disaster recovery) are paramount. In fact, finding reliable data backup and recovery is the No. 1 managed service that business customers seek from cloud providers, according to a recent survey of more than 1,700 businesses by industry analyst 451 Research.

Here’s a prime example. Businesses of all sizes are already actively safeguarding their data in the Microsoft Azure Cloud, using a combination of Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery. However, because Azure is architecturally complex and constantly evolving, most businesses find that it’s a challenge to adopt, operate and develop the expertise needed to manage it on their own. By transferring management and support responsibilities to a certified Azure managed cloud services partner, implementing BaaS and DRaaS strategies becomes easy and worry-free. Plus, in the form of managed service offerings, Azure partners can fill expertise gaps that these businesses may have, especially in areas such as managed security, migration assistance, infrastructure auditing, and monitoring.

What’s so sensible about moving BC/DR to the cloud?

Use Azure as the example again. Managed Azure enhances BC/DR, and thus competitive edge, by providing businesses with enterprise-grade backup, storage and disaster recovery capabilities in a single, scalable solution with an easy-to-use interface. With Azure Backup, businesses sidestep the complexities, delays and risks of time-intensive backup, storage and retention, and the data is encrypted too. Tape soft costs are slashed and the storage life of their data is extended by up to a century. Complimenting Azure Backup is Azure Site Recovery, which provides simple but full-featured disaster recovery. Site Recovery provides automated protection and replication of a customer’s physical and virtual environment. The addition of Site Recovery helps customers meet their security rigor and requirements in addition to any hybrid cloud objectives. These services allow businesses to monitor remotely the health of their machines and create customizable recovery plans.

In the end, businesses benefit significantly from shifting BC/DR to the cloud and a managed services provider. Zero capital investment is required and operational expenses are minimized. Businesses can get all the BC/DR capabilities that they need on a pay-as-you-need basis, and IT staff can rest assured that certified professionals are working hand-in-hand with their team to protect their valuable data and prevent catastrophic data loss.

Jay Atkinson is CEO of AIS Network (www.aisn.net), the premier provider of high-compliance, high security eGov managed services and multi-cloud hosting solutions to the Commonwealth of Virginia and international corporations across North America.

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