How to Ensure Business Continuity with Cloud Computing

These days, businesses of all sizes are looking to cloud computing as a means to more efficiently deliver IT services to users. Cloud-based solutions offer a cost-effective way to maintain high availability and reliability for user applications, especially if they support mobile workers, telecommuters or field-based teams. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Chris Pyle explains the important disaster recovery and business continuity benefits that cloud computing can deliver to your business.

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One of the key benefits of the cloud model, and one that is often overlooked, is how cloud computing can help to ensure business continuity and speed disaster recovery. In today's "new normal" economy, companies of all sizes have to look for affordable ways to deliver quality IT services reliably and continuously to customers and employees. Cloud computing presents a low-cost disaster recovery and business continuity solution for small and midsize businesses and a more cost-effective alternative to cost-conscious larger corporations.

Traditional disaster recovery and business continuity methods can be cumbersome and extremely expensive. They typically require buying and maintaining a complete set of hardware that matches or "mirrors" a company's business-critical systems, including sufficient storage to house a complete copy of all of the company's business data. The mirror data center environment must reside in a colocation facility or some other remote environment.

Add to the hardware capital outlay and ongoing maintenance fees the cost of regularly replicating production data on the mirror systems, physically moving the data from Point A to Point B. Another added cost factor is keeping the application software in sync in both locations. The software has to be updated every time there's a modification or upgrade to the production systems.