Cloud computing and hosting has revolutionized the way in which businesses, small and large, conduct their operations. While the cloud environment allows users to easily scale their websites, there are additional concerns with disaster recovery. Since this type of hosting service is drastically different from the traditional shared or dedicated hosting options, there must be more diverse ways to protect vital data.
Data replication is a concept that everyone in the IT industry should be well versed in. This is when data is duplicated from one system to another. Essentially, any changes to the current data on a server are automatically replicated on another machine or portion of the cloud. While this may result in the loss of some data in the case of an immediate failure, most of the data will remain in place. Depending on the replication system being utilized, a server may replicate to multiple physical locations. In the event of a failure at one replicated location, another could have been used to restore services, in the event of a disaster.
Managed Service Provider
When consistency and data is important, many businesses will essentially outsource their disaster recovery to their managed service provider. Many hosting services will offer a managed level of service, but this comes with an additional cost. When this type of disaster recovery option is being employed, it is essential to have a reliable SLA, or service level agreement, in place. The SLA will ensure that an appropriate measure of service is offered to maintain a good quality of service. This will also state the allotted amount of time it should take for any restorations, if they are needed.
Restore From Backup
Many websites will have their data automatically backed up into the cloud. This allows for an easy recovery, but at a cost. While backing up data is relatively cheap in this instance, restoring it can be very time consuming. Depending on the amount of data, the restoration process can take minutes or hours. These backups come in two different types: an interval backup or a synced backup.
Interval backups are usually set on a predetermined interval and will not contain any new data that was written since the last backup. This may be ideal for a small blog, but many businesses can not afford to lose any of their customer's data. Synced backups work very similar to data replication, but they are different in that they can be stored on the cloud or sent for on-site restorations. However, this will require a third-party service, which can be very expensive.
Hosting a server on the cloud has many benefits. The ease of use, scalability and affordable pricing model has made the IT world adapt their disaster recovery options rapidly. While large companies have the means for more expensive recovery options, small businesses also have affordable options. This allows every website owner to start their endeavors without worrying about their data being lost. Diligence and proper testing of disaster recovery options will ensure that rapid recovery is possible, and feasible, in an appropriate amount of time.