With businesses increasingly opting to adopt cloud computing solutions, new alternatives in data recovery are taking centre stage.

For some businesses, the process of data backup for recovery is as simple as saving important data to an external hard drive. For larger companies, data recovery can be more involved, requiring off-site locations, complex disaster recovery plans (DRP) and significant outlays.

Affordable alternatives

The unfortunate reality is that DRPs are a huge expense for many companies; the cost of renting space, equipment, technicians and other overheads is substantial, making the provision of data backup overly burdensome for some. Consequently, many businesses do not have adequate data recovery plans in place. According to Eran Farajun, Executive Vice President of Asigra, a Toronto-based company specializing in cloud backup and recovery, the advent of Data Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) through cloud computing offers an affordable, dependable alternative for many companies.

“With cloud backup you’re paying at a marginal rate,” says Farajun. “Sure, there’s a data centre with computers, staff, and infrastructure — but you’re only paying for the services that you need. There is a huge economic benefit there.”

“With cloud backup you’re paying at a marginal rate,” says Farajun. “Sure, there’s a data centre with computers, staff, and infrastructure — but you’re only paying for the services that you need. There is a huge economic benefit there.”

Multiple benefits

The benefits of cloud backup aren’t just economic — DRaaS contracts offer easily customized, scalable solutions that can grow in lockstep with a company’s needs. Cloud backup strategies also provide faster recovery times than traditional methods such as magnetic tape recovery. “The time to value for the right workload is much shorter in the cloud. When you need to recover data, and you’re using old processes, your team and customers can’t wait weeks for data to be recovered. The pace of business is measured today not in weeks and months, but in minutes and hours.”

And it is that unrelenting pace that makes early adoption of new, more efficient technologies all the more important. “In the next three to five years the majority of business data will be moved to the cloud. It’s a strategic first-mover advantage that enables you to focus and spend less time on back office processes. The businesses that do that will have a huge head start,” says Eran.

Note of caution

However, while early adopters will have an advantage, there is a note of caution. While Cloud Application Providers offer space to house immense amounts of corporate data, they do not necessarily offer secure backup and recovery solutions that meet the specific service level requirements for each enterprise. “Unfortunately there is a misperception out there that moving corporate data to the cloud shifts responsibility onto those companies, but that’s not the case,” says Eran. “If you’re moving your data you still need to make sure that it’s safe. If you’re working with a cloud backup provider make sure that they can also backup and protect the data in cloud-based applications like Google apps, Office 365 and other applications that an enterprise might use.”