Impact of Private Cloud on Disaster Recovery Process

By CIOReview | Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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A private cloud provides numerous benefits to a company by authorizing sharing of resources in a more effective way across the company network to optimize cost and meet business needs quickly. However, management and protection of private clouds is a big challenge in itself because of the different sets of hardware and mixed hypervisors. Private cloud plays a major role in the making of a disaster recovery strategy for a company.

The main challenge of a perfect DR plan is to restore all data onto the company’s IT infrastructure in case of any disaster. The data restoration includes recovery of software, reloading security patches and operating system along with reloading other data back to the previous state. By using a private cloud, companies can store their systems backup at an off-site location. Private cloud leverages virtualization to recover data well within time, in the case of any outage.

Private cloud disaster recovery approach proficiently leverages current data center facilities without any need of new infrastructure and helps in easily meeting the security concerns of managing and protecting data in one place. The approach flexibly responds to the ever-changing business needs like acquisition, divestment, and new business initiatives, among others.

Private cloud comprises of virtual servers that combines with Storage Area Network (SAN) to improve security against disasters and helps in achieving incredible redundancy. The collaboration balances the load between servers and automatically shifts server resources to those servers that are working properly. In the case of any extra server, the company can shut down one server and start functioning from another one to avoid downtime.

Extra servers conveniently allow hardware and software maintenance without forcing company server to face downtime. After correctly configuring the services, a company can power off one of the servers and switch to virtual server available on the private cloud. Thereafter, the private cloud takes the disaster protection up to the next level. The backup saved on the cloud virtual servers can be recovered at any other data center with the help of SAN. In case of any disaster, company needs to access SAN from any other data center and further perform a SAN to SAN replication for the hot site DR environment. By using replication, a company can fully recover their data in less than an hour of time.

If a company operates in the financial, medical or legal sector, there is a high risk of unauthorized access, non-compliance fines, and data leaks. Therefore, the company needs to ensure data encryption in both transit and at-rest recovery environment. Private cloud helps in resolving the encryption problem by implementing intrusion prevention systems, multi-factor authentications, and advanced firewalls that enable strong security for the sensitive data. Sometimes, destroying outdated data also comes in the practice of data protection, and private cloud enables this action in a more secure way. The infrastructure in the private cloud is separate and company can easily destroy the unnecessary infrastructure and environment at any time.

The security aspects are one of the main reasons behind using a private cloud for disaster recovery services. A private cloud is only accessible by a single client, so the data in the operating environment are highly secure and provides extra redundancy to a DR plan along with leveraging the scalability and the on-demand attributes of the cloud platform. The private cloud users have full administrative access over the hypervisors that provides extra control on network maintenance and operations. During the starting phase with a private cloud, the company needs to take backups on a regular basis to avoid any type of data mishaps in the production phase. Later, the company can go with less frequent backups.

A private cloud not only provides better flexibility for backups of the virtual machines but also extends the disaster recovery options, leads to noteworthy cost savings, and allows disaster recovery in Server Message Block (SMB). The level of data protection can be evaluated by setting up a dummy tenant and an equivalent virtual machine network segment. After placing the tenant and VM, the ability of private cloud can be tested for disaster recovery of resources. The organization also needs to test the firm’s capability against backup and recovery process of private cloud configuration database.