DR to the cloud

Posted on 29 December 2010

I was thinking the about computer system recovery, mostly because I was/am trying to fix a computer at home.   It started me thinking about the companies I have seen over the years with the blank check approach to DR and the ones I have seen with the piggy bank approach.  It’s interesting, I’ve seen the companies that wanted/needed 100% uptime, but they are in denial of the costs associated to that level of uptime.   Anyways, I was wondering how the cloud (a service provider) might be a solution for some types of DR for those companies with little to no budgets for IT.

Let’s use a small company as the example, they don’t have data centers, they have a room with ‘servers’ in it.  A file server, email server, company web server, database server, etc.   They have some spare parts in the closet, but not everything.  The servers are under warranty, so replacements are available but it takes some time to get the parts ordered and shipped.   The company isn’t in a situation that they are ready to deal with the costs associated to seamless DR, but they do want limited downtime.

If you think about it, if you had a server that was the company web server, email server or a database of some sort, and you had some type of hardware failure like the motherboard getting fried (and no spare available).   If you have good documented procedures for restoration of the server, you could hit up a cloud provider to get a OS provisioned and then at least set up a temporary “server” while the other server (or parts) are being ordered/fixed.  If you have some level of virtualization adoption, this type of DR might be even easier.    The point is, if you are on a low budget, you could test out these type of DR scenario’s up front and then not have to have the hardware costs associated to DR.

With the amount of providers out there that are making it easier and easier to click a few times and then have an OS provisioned and available quickly, using the cloud as an alternative DR is becoming more of an option.   There are some providers that are making canned configurations available which will make it even easier.   Anyways, I have to go, I need to get back to fixing my computer problem, the CEO (wife) is complaining about how the IT department (me) is not responsive enough to fixing the outage.   She has important web surfing to do 🙂

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