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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Caution When Considering Moving To The Cloud

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Disaster recovery in the cloud offers many benefits, but it’s still an emerging technology. While it has seemed advantageous because the approach can cost less than traditional data replication and offer similarly fast recovery times, there are still challenges to be faced.

One of the most important things to remember is that not all service providers are the same. Jon Toigo, of Toigo Partners International, echoed this concern. “You’re at the mercy of the service provider,” he said. “How agile are they? Your provider must be intimately acquainted with your applications and what it takes to get them up and running. It’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s not plug and play.” Larger vendors often struggle with such minute customization as the size of their client base doesn’t allow them to spend much time on each individual account until there’s a problem.

In addition to questions about staffing, computing resources are frequently oversubscribed. Will your provider have the resources necessary to handle all of its clients’ applications at the same time? Unfortunately, organizations rarely check into these things before making a decision.

If you choose to sign up, do your homework. It’s widely recommended that you ask potential cloud disaster recovery providers as many questions as possible. “Make sure you can test. Make sure your users can get to the data. Talk to references. Compare multiple vendors,” Toigo said. “Also, you need to have service-level agreements in writing.”

One final word of caution about flexibility: it is important to understand your exit strategy if costs go up and you want to opt out of the service. How do you get your data back? Many cloud providers use tape, but just as many don’t. Whether a vendor can dump all your data to tape is worth considering.

If you’re having difficulty comparing and contrasting the benefits of the various cloud based solutions on the market, check out our Disaster Recovery Vendor Comparison Checklist! This interactive form can help guide the conversation when talking to different providers and ensuring that they meet your basic needs. If you ever have any additional questions, feel free to contact us and one of our team of experts will be than willing to help as well!

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