Archive for the ‘cloud-based recovery’ Category

Recovery in the Cloud – Part I, CEO Decision Drivers

Ram Shanmugan, our  Senior Director of Product Management for Recovery Services, was recently interviewed by Smart Business Philly magazine.  Below are some of the important points he discussed.  We’ll have more next week.  – Carl M.

“Weathering a storm” is more than just an off-hand comment these day. The U.S. experienced eight disasters costing over $1B in the first 6-months of 2011.  Few areas of the U.S were shared the business complications caused by tornado, blizzard, wildfires and floods.

Planning for erratic weather can be tricky.  Of course, you want secure data, redundant infrastructure and business continuity processes, but balancing those needs against the needs for revenue-generating IT projects is difficult.

Fortunately, “recovery in the  cloud” offers a cost-effective, reliable option.  It lets you formulate the right availability service for your applications, from mission-critical to important but infrequently used applications.

Four elements drive the decision to move to a cloud-based recovery service:

  1. Cost savings.  The ability to fulfill recovery needs and lower costs is the most significant driver,
  2. RPO/RTO.  The Recovery point objectives (how long you can tolerate an application being down) and the recovery time objectives (how long it takes to recover the application) determine the level of resources your need to avoid serious impact to your business.
  3. Reliability. The true value of a recovery environment comes during a time of disaster, and managed cloud-based solutions offer higher reliability in recovery of mission-critical applications than do in-house solutions.
  4. Skilled Resources.  In-house recovery solutions require an investment in specialized skills to support the recovery infrastructure.  Cloud-based recovery eliminates that need.

Can your IT department recover from an outage without incurring emergency resources and costs?

Visit our Cloud Solutions Center for videos, white papers and case studies about SunGard’s Enterprise Cloud Services.

For Recovery, Cloud Platforms Lower Cost and Improve Scalability

Cloud has received much industry attention in the last year. Some believe that cloud is a marketing fad. But others recognize that virtualization technologies when implemented as a cloud make fundamental changes in how applications can be designed, managed, maintained – and, most interestingly in terms of the Recovery Services line of business at SunGard, cloud also changes how applications can be recovered.

It is a truism by now, that cloud “is just another platform.” However, the differences in the platform are fundamental – with huge implications for the applications which run on them. ITIL best practices are also at work, changing the process by which applications are developed, tested, and provisioned in most organizations. The result seems to be more modular applications designed with “share-everything” resource utilization, to lower costs and improve efficiencies.

Even for traditional applications, however, cloud offers some exciting new recovery options. New recovery options include:

  • Shared tenancy with other organizations, to spread the cost of resources across more budgets – and lower the recovery platform costs for all
  • Receive faster, automated response to real-time fluctuations in capacity demand – across networks, compute and storage resources
  • Recover applications faster due to automation capabilities built into the cloud platform – capabilities which avoid human error and other delays
  • Transform traditional Capex into Opex monthly fees which are structured to be “pay-as-you-go” – which further reduces the pressure on IT budgets

These exciting new opportunities to ease recovery costs are helping more organizations to put effective disaster recovery in place for their businesses, by lowering the costs and increasing the benefits. Additionally, organizations are able to more of their applications under sufficient recovery protection, by lowering the costs of recovery across every type of application.

However, cloud platform does not solve everything for recovery. Some of the key challenges which are unchanged by cloud include:

  • The need for organizations to adopt modern data movement, to improve recovery points and recovery times and eliminate costs and risks associated with tape-dependent disaster recovery
  • The need for organizations to analyze applications value and the impact of downtime to their businesses – so they can appropriately prioritize recovery spending and resources
  • The need for applications expertise built into recovery plans and procedures
  • The need for organizations to maintain and test their recovery plans and procedures, on a regular basis

Recovery in the Cloud Boosts Hurricane Season Preparedness

Hurricane season brings into focus the need for companies to reexamine disaster recovery plans.  As we’ve been meeting with companies on how to prepare for the volatile weather season, we advise organizations to approach hurricane preparedness not as a reactive disaster recovery process but as the opportunity to manage a hurricane as a planned event. The plan process can benefit organizations not just on their worst day, in the wake of a disaster, but every day, by revealing critical gaps in the availability of production environments.

Unlike many other weather-related events, hurricanes have a relatively long warning time-frame, which can allow for the proactive relocation of people and corporate assets in advance of the storm rather than waiting for the worst to occur.

As part of hurricane preparedness, companies should examine the role cloud computing can play as a new platform for lower-cost applications recovery.  Infrastructure recovery is evolving to include a combination of physical, virtual and cloud components, allowing organizations to mix and match to meet specific needs of the applications and systems being recovered.  Incorporating this expanded range of options makes it more critical than ever to be sure your  recovery service provider has proven experience in handling real-life production operations along with designing high availability solutions and managing business continuity plans.

Additionally, recovery plans should include a process to guide operations in moving back to production systems from recovery sites following failures and disaster threats, such as after a hurricane passes.

What’s more, many businesses fail to take into consideration the time it takes to move recovered applications back to a production environment following a disruption. Automation capabilities, and careful sequencing of data resynchronization and service restart, are essential in speeding this process and minimizing the impact on business users.

Among the other drivers behind the trend toward recovery in the cloud are:

•Cloud-based recovery services utilize a shared, not dedicated, IT infrastructure which can help reduce customer costs of having additional capacity available when it is needed.
•Cloud computing provides a service pricing model so companies can ramp up capacity as needed during a hurricane response, without incurring added CAPEX.
•Fully-managed recovery services on a cloud platform can help reduce the cost and burden of recovery planning and testing during a disaster.
•Recovery planning and testing can reveal critical gaps in production environments and help close those gaps for improved daily operations.

What are your recovery plans during Hurricane season?