Hurricanes cause significant damage to anyone in their path. As IT leaders, we can’t help but think about the disruption they also bring to organizations with data centers that host critical applications.

We have yet to see the full impact of this year’s storms on IT operations at major companies, but if history is any predictor, many organizations probably suffered significant disruptions. During Superstorm Sandy, many major data center providers lost power when their emergency generators became flooded, bringing operations to a halt.

IT leaders who witnessed these disruptions understandably seek out alternatives that can insulate their organizations from the effects of a widespread regional disaster. Many organizations now look to the cloud as an option for hosting a hybrid computing environment with geographic redundancy.

Introducing DRaaS

Cloud providers are stepping up by offering dedicated Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions to provide continuity for critical applications. In this approach, organizations mirror their critical on-premises systems in the cloud and create secure connectivity between the two environments. This provides near real-time redundancy when the on-premises data center goes offline, keeping applications up and running to support business operations.

Connectivity and Automation Are Key

Organizations adopting DRaaS must treat connectivity between the environments as a crucial concern, addressing two main priorities: speed and security. Whether they tunnel traffic via the internet or obtain dedicated links to their cloud recovery environment, organizations must ensure sufficient bandwidth to provide a speedy initial replication of data and support ongoing cloud operations without disrupting other activity that must traverse the same links. At the same time, those links must be carefully secured with strong encryption technology to protect confidential information.

Automation of failover and failback operations also plays a significant role in enhancing an organization’s DRaaS capability. Many organizations are hesitant to fully automate this process, choosing to place the failover decision in human hands, but that doesn’t mean that automation can’t greatly improve efficiency by leveraging scripting to make the process as smooth as possible. The goal is to allow IT leaders to make the failover decision and then leverage automation to carry out the complex technical operations that implement the failover in a fast and orderly fashion.

Cloud recovery options provide organizations with an effective way to build geographic redundancy into their computing strategies without breaking the bank. Cloud providers’ on-demand pricing allows organizations to build out redundant services but avoid paying for compute charges until the site is activated. This makes cloud-based DRaaS not only an operational win but also a financially wise decision.

Learn more about how CDW solutions and services can help you manage risk and recover quickly from disaster.

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