Four Reasons Why DR to the Cloud Can Fail

By Zerto, on 1 March, 2012

And Four Ways to Make Sure it Doesn’t Fail!

A modified version of this post first appeared in the new publication Cloud Magazine.

On paper, Cloud-based Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions seem to provide a cost-effective and simple approach to replicating data, right?

There are four key areas where existing Cloud DR solutions often fall short, making DR to the Cloud difficult, if not impossible.

1. The replication technologies used by your Cloud Service Provider may slow down your IT environment.

Many replication technologies utilize snapshots to make a copy of data, slowing production environments and taking resources from your critical applications and systems.  Disaster Recovery, as important as it is, should not hinder your critical business systems.

2. Most Cloud service providers charge for storage and for bandwidth utilized by sending data to their Cloud.  Replicating large quantities of data to a cloud provider can become costly.

Many replication solutions do not have built-in compression and network optimization tools.  Replication without compression can become quite costly, as network costs are often quoted by service providers on a per-GB basis.

3. For easy DR to the cloud, your service provider’s Cloud-based replication site needs to work with your existing storage and technologies.

Currently, Cloud service providers need to offer the same storage and technologies as their customers in order to serve as a replication and recovery site. If you and your Cloud provider are using different storage and technologies, the process of replicating data to their cloud can be costly and involve complex, manual processes.

4.  Replication to the cloud is not cost-effective if cloud providers need to duplicate environments for each customer.

Complex issues are introduced when replicating multiple enterprises to a single cloud. For example, when replicating from separate sites with separate networks to one site with one network, redundancy is required at the replication site. Most cloud providers are solving this by duplicating network and infrastructure elements. This impacts the manageability and control of existing Cloud offerings.

What can you do to make sure your company does not fall victim to failures in these key areas?

1. Avoid snapshots and other replication technologies that tax production.

A disaster recovery solution should be simple, automated and have zero impact on your business systems and applications. Be sure to have an automated mechanism for testing your DR solution as well, so that you can run regular checks of your protected data.  With Zerto, data protection and tests of your DR system will never impact the applications running in your data center.

2. Find a replication solution with built-in bandwidth compression.

Compression is key to low bandwidth utilization and keeping costs down.  Find a provider that works with you to keep network utilization down, by compressing replication data and helping you to prioritize the data that is most important to you.  Zerto even has tools to help keep your setup costs down, in order to avoid a costly hit to the network when setting up your replication solution.

3. Make sure your Cloud provider can work with any storage technologies.

Your Cloud provider will need to offer the ability to mix storage from any vendor using any technology, so that your data and the data of all of their many customers can be protected in their Cloud.  Make sure they are set up to do this, otherwise you’ll end up paying for them to upgrade their storage technology to match yours. Plus, if the Cloud provider can only work with one storage vendor, that locks you to a specific vendor in your data center for the full duration of your Cloud contract.  Make sure your provider can support any storage vendor, so you have the freedom to upgrade or change vendors in your data center without disrupting your Cloud DR plan.

4. To see a real cost benefit from the cloud, make sure your service provider offers true multi-tenancy.

Cloud providers can only securely pool resources if they have the right multi-tenant technology, otherwise you’ll pay for the provider to set up a dedicated, duplicate environment – and pass the costs onto you!

Zerto’s BC/ DR to the Cloud solution uses no snapshots, has bandwidth compression & true multi-tenancy built-in and works with any storage. Zerto Virtual Replication has additional advantages as well: replication of multiple sites, (such as a company’s branch offices or additional data centers) centralized management of DR, and full integration with VMware’s vCloud Director.

Disaster Recovery to the Cloud is a big opportunity, offering secure, automated and low-cost data replication and recovery. Simply knowing what to ask your Cloud provider will make the selection of DR services simple and effective.  Zerto recently announced that Cloud service providers Terremark and ZX are offering Cloud DR using Zerto’s technology.  Contact us to speak to a Cloud service provider using Zerto.

For more technical information on BC/ DR to the Cloud, read our Cloud white paper deep-dive.

 

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