10 Advantages of Moving to The Cloud

WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING?

Cloud-based technology allows companies to expand their technical capabilities without the hardware hassle. Businesses that implement cloud services gain so much more than simple mobility. Moving to a secure cloud can help your business streamline its critical IT processes while simplifying business application management.

Cloud computing gives users the ability to access all the data and applications on your network by logging in from any device that has an internet connection. Programs are outsourced and reside in a secure data center rather than your hard drive.

10 Advantages of Moving to The Cloud:

1) Cost Efficiency

Cloud technology eliminates the need for businesses to purchase and maintain additional hardware or software, greatly reducing your capital costs. With a cloud provider managing the business’s equipment, applications, upgrades, updates, patching, and all other IT processes, you’ll have more time to spend on running your business and more room in the budget to modernize and automate your processes.

2) Flexibility

The cloud provides you the freedom to work anytime from wherever you are, as long as you can connect to the internet. In addition, many applications have been optimized for use with tablets and smartphones, so you don’t even have to carry a laptop anymore. The flexibility that the cloud offers also makes it easy to share documents with your colleagues. With software providing version control, it’s possible for multiple people to update the same document simultaneously, increasing overall productivity.

3) Collaboration

Cloud-based workflow and file-sharing applications give teams in different locations the ability to work together more easily and efficiently. Staff can make updates in real time, see what other team members are working on, and communicate more effectively. This advanced level of collaboration speeds up projects and, ultimately, improves customer service.

4) Security

The cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining all hardware, software, and networks in the cloud. A team of IT professionals ensures that equipment and applications are upgraded regularly, updated in a timely manner, patched when appropriate, and outfitted with the latest security measures. In addition, the cloud utilizes data encryption to ensure that anyone not authorized to access your data is prevented from doing so.

5) Mobility

With cloud technology, you can provide total access to employees who work remotely or those who travel regularly, as well as individuals who work on a freelance basis. This increased flexibility allows employees to work on the go or from home, using their desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

6) Scalability

Most cloud computing programs and applications operate on a subscription-based model. This allows your business to scale up or down according to your needs and budget. This level of agility gives businesses using cloud computing a huge advantage over their competitors.

7) Data Backup & Recovery

With robust disaster recovery solutions in place, you don’t have to worry about data loss – even if your laptop, smartphone, or tablet is stolen, damaged, misplaced, or it malfunctions. You can quickly regain access to data using any computer or laptop with an internet connection. Daily data backups and recoverability tests ensure business continuity in case of an emergency.

8) Competitiveness

Migrating to the cloud gives businesses of all sizes access to enterprise-class technology. Cloud-based business applications allows smaller businesses to compete with bigger, more established competitors, all while remaining lean and nimble.

9) Environmentally Friendly

Since additional hardware and other physical products aren’t necessary, your business will help reduce environmental waste by operating in the cloud. This change will also likely decrease the production of paper waste. Not only are you cutting company expenses and freeing up physical space, you’re also empowering your employees to adopt a more proactive environmental approach.

10) Easy Implementation

A cloud service provider will work with you to outline your technical and business goals. This helps them to better understand which cloud services are right for you. From there, the provider will develop a plan and timeline to move you to the cloud. Preparing for your business’s transition to the cloud is pretty simple. You might want to consider upgrading your network bandwidth in advance of the move, as cloud computing can put a strain on local internet connections. You won’t need to hire additional staff to help with the transition. The cloud service provider will handle the move from start to finish.

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Cloud Scalability: What It Is & Why It Matters

What Is Cloud Scalability, And Why Does It Matter?

Cloud computing has radically modified the framework of IT infrastructure over the past decade, with many organizations dispensing with in-house solutions and transferring their operations entirely to the cloud. Given its many significant benefits to businesses, scalability is one of the principal driving factors in this widespread cloud migration. Whether traffic or workload conditions increase or decrease suddenly or progressively over time, a scalable cloud solution equips businesses to react appropriately and judiciously to adjust their storage capacity and computing power in order to optimize system performance.

When your data storage is physically restricted, your ability to expand your IT infrastructure to meet demands is severely hampered. However, when you operate in the cloud there are no limits to the physical size of your server environment. This permits you to start small and nourish the growth of your business over time, without any interruptions to your workflow or costly, unanticipated changes. Simply put, scalability enables your IT environment to be flexible enough to deliver precisely the right amount of computing power and storage capacity you need, whenever you need it.

Occasionally, scalability is inaccurately used as a synonym for growth. In reality, market demand isn’t steady. Even flourishing businesses might experience times when there is more or less demand. That’s another great thing about scalability – you can downsize resources as needed just as easily as you can scale up.

In traditional data center operations, adding extra server space involves having to acquire, equip, install, and configure the hardware, then assess both the infrastructure and application in advance of making it available in production. Apart from the purchase and maintenance costs, this process expends a considerable amount of time and resources, in addition to the inevitable downtime it causes during production rollout. After all this, if your demand decreases, the organization has no alternative other than to absorb the costs.

What Is Cloud Scalability?

Cloud scalability is the ability to increase or decrease IT resources, capacity, or infrastructure to meet the changing demands of your business.

If you’ve ever created a Gmail account, added storage to your Dropbox account, or watched something on Netflix, you’ve done some scaling – at least in a limited, front-end sense – even without realizing it. Essentially, what you’ve done by executing any of these actions is create an IT resource – an email account, storage, or a streaming video – without purchasing any additional hardware.

 

How Is Cloud Scalability Achieved?

Virtualization involves the creation of virtual assets – such as servers, desktops, operating systems, storage devices, and other network infrastructure – using resources that are traditionally bound to physical hardware. Virtualization is what makes scalability in cloud computing possible.

Unlike physical machines whose provisions are relatively fixed, virtual machines (VMs) are exceptionally flexible and can be easily scaled up or down. VMs can be transferred to a different server or hosted on numerous servers simultaneously. Workloads and applications can also be shifted to larger VMs as needed.

3 Types of Scaling in the Cloud:

Vertical Scaling

This gives you the ability to expand (“scale up”) or shrink (“scale down”) the capacity of your server to adapt to changing workload volumes. This is accomplished by adding or removing resources. This type of scaling has an upper limit based on the capacity of the server or the machine being scaled. Scaling beyond that point often requires significant downtime. With vertical scaling, no code is changed and no infrastructure is added – only the number of resources needed.

Horizontal Scaling

This allows you to provision additional servers and configure them to work together as a single system in order to spread out the workload across machines for optimal performance. This is also referred to as “scaling in” or “scaling out,” depending on whether you are increasing or decreasing your infrastructure. In practical terms, horizontal scaling is superior, as it’s much easier to accomplish without downtime and it’s also simpler to manage automatically.

Diagonal Scaling

This combines elements of vertical and horizontal scaling. Each individual method is capable of solving different scalability issues, so it’s not a matter of choosing which one is “better.” The idea is to scale exactly to your business demands, which often involves both vertical and horizontal scaling. You grow (vertically) within your existing infrastructure until you hit the tipping point, at which point you can simply add more resources in a new cloud server (horizontal). Diagonal scaling delivers tremendous flexibility for variable workloads that require additional resources for specific periods of time.

6 Key Benefits of Cloud Scalability:

Facilitates Disaster Recovery

In the event of a disaster (natural or otherwise), scalability allows a business to rebuild its IT infrastructure in just a few hours. You merely have to deploy new servers and copy over your data. By comparison, it can take weeks to rebuild your local IT with new physical servers.

Incredible Speed & Flexibility

Scalability allows you to add the necessary IT resources for your business initiatives – whether you’re opening a new branch, adding a new team, or starting a new project or campaign – in minutes, hours, or days, not months or years. When demand is reduced, you can easily return to your original configurations.

Avoid Expensive, Disruptive Migrations

Scalability enables your business to accommodate increased workloads without disrupting or completely transforming your existing infrastructure. With a scalable IT platform, you only migrate to new infrastructure when you want to – not when your underlying platform lets you down. Scalability enables your business to accommodate larger workloads without disruption or complete transformation of existing infrastructure.

Cost-Effective

By migrating to the cloud, businesses can avoid the upfront costs of procuring costly equipment that could become obsolete in a few years. With a cloud service provider, you only pay for what you use, which helps minimize waste.

Having the capability to scale cloud resources up or down based on present needs eliminates a number of risks related to rapid growth. Consequently, a bad quarter or two won’t suddenly put the company in financial jeopardy, thanks to steady IT infrastructure costs. 

Some applications can operate even more economically in the cloud and can often be migrated simply through “lift and shift” strategies. The money saved on computing infrastructure can then be reinvested in the company, helping to grow the business even more efficiently.

 

Greater Storage Capacity

Having sufficient storage space to accommodate the needs of a growing company — from saving important files and hosting applications to securely storing vital customer information — is essential.

While a fragmentary setup may only need a few terabytes of data to support your everyday needs, the system could quickly find itself struggling to manage significantly higher workloads and resources after a string of successes.

Instead of maintaining an ever-expanding conglomeration of hard drives that increases every time you take on a new client, your company can use cloud computing to scale its data storage plan to fit your current needs without incurring the out-of-pocket costs that come with expanding physical infrastructure.

Saves Time

With continued growth and increasingly complicated computing infrastructure, a business that operates in the cloud can continue to boost its capacity and capabilities without jeopardizing the enterprising efforts that made the business prosperous initially.

Oftentimes with just a couple of clicks, IT administrators can effortlessly deploy additional VMs which are available immediately, and which are tailored to the precise needs of your organization. This conserves valuable time for IT staff. In lieu of consuming hours and days configuring physical hardware, teams can concentrate their time and energy on takes that are more crucial to growing the business.

Best Practices for Determining Optimal Scalability

Performance Testing

To ascertain a “right-sized” solution, continuing performance testing is vital. IT administrators must constantly calculate factors such as CPU load, memory usage, response time, and number of requests. Scalability testing also quantifies an application’s performance and ability to scale up or down depending on user requests.

Auto-Scaling

Many cloud service providers offer auto-scaling options as part of their cloud solutions. This refers to the automatic scaling of a system’s capacity, either up or down, based on predefined conditions.

Auto-scaling continually keeps track of the performance of applications and automatically adjusts the capacity to sustain stable, uninterrupted performance and to ensure that businesses are only responsible for paying for the resources they use.

Load Balancing

Load balancers offer another automated way of scaling up or down by allocating workloads across a variety of nodes in order to optimize resources.

A load balancer accepts all incoming application traffic and then acts as an usher to discover the best instance for each incoming request.

Additionally, most load balancers constantly monitor the health of each instance to ensure that traffic is only being sent to instances that are “healthy.” They can also transfer workloads they deem to be too heavy for a specific node, instead locating a less-burdened node.

Containers

Containers and container orchestration systems have rapidly become popular ways to create more scalable and portable IT infrastructure. Containers share a single kernel, yet they’re isolated from their surroundings. This confines issues to the single container, rather than the entire machine.

Containers require fewer resources and deliver greater flexibility than virtual machines because they can share elements such as operating systems and a number of other components. In this way, containers will operate the same way across platforms, and thus can be quickly and easily migrated between nodes

Final Thoughts

Businesses these days operate on data. Unfortunately, the proliferation of data is walloping business IT environments and pressuring IT executives to make difficult decisions. If your business is scrambling to keep up with the necessary infrastructure for your expanding data, the practical solution is cloud migration. The most compelling motivation to do so is scalability.

Releasing the ties that bind you to your physical infrastructure — either partially (with a hybrid cloud environment) or fully — allows you to direct your attention toward building out your infrastructure in a more proactive, methodical, and economical way. By channeling the scalability of your cloud environment through these and other methods, you can advance more quickly and easily and remain agile all the while.

DataGroup Technologies, Inc. (DTI) offers a wide range of cloud hosting services to help reduce maintenance expenses and boost business efficiency. Whether you need virtual servers or virtual desktops and phone systems, we can help with that! Virtualization helps companies decrease maintenance spend and increase server utilization. If your business is considering moving to the cloud, give us a call today at 252.329.1382! We can make the migration process simple and painless, and you will start to see the benefits of cloud computing almost immediately!

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Common Myths About the Cloud – DEBUNKED!

Common Myths About The Cloud – DEBUNKED!

The demand for superior speed and agility continues to drive companies toward cloud adoption. But while earlier forecasts projected that more than 16% of enterprise workloads would be in the cloud by 2019, there’s an obvious delay in that actual statistic – which is thus far half as large at just 9%.

Generally, this lag in cloud adoption doesn’t derive from a lack of initiative. Many company heads have faced substantial setbacks along their journey toward the cloud or have expressed misgivings once they considered its impact on costs, security, latency, and more.

Discussions with countless CEOs and CIOs have revealed a similar set of myths that commonly trigger these roadblocks and reservations, hindering progress and adoption. Companies that have successfully countered these myths are the ones that have reaped the biggest benefits from their move to the cloud.

The Cost and the Value

Myth #1

The Primary Value of Businessess Moving to the Cloud Is a Reduction in IT Costs.

Many organizations associate cloud migration with the replacement of critical IT functions, access to on-demand infrastructure, database services, and more. While all these associations are certainly accurate, company leaders often get wind of them but then fail to take into account the larger role the cloud can play in revolutionizing the full IT operating model – and, in turn, the business itself.

Subsequently, when leaders proceed to write a business case for adopting the cloud, they end up spending an inordinate amount of time analyzing on-premises costs versus cloud costs and dedicate far less time to the primary value driver of the cloud – the benefits to the business.

The reality is that the business benefits of cloud adoption far outweigh the IT cost efficiencies. Larger companies typically spend only a fraction of their total revenues – about 0.5% – on application hosting. Even if operating in the cloud could decrease this expense by 25%, that amount would be a drop in the bucket in comparison with the deeper potential business impacts from the cloud.

Any one of a variety of cloud-supported initiatives – enhanced analytics, quicker time-to-market, and greater innovation, for example – could ultimately have a more substantial impact than reductions in IT costs. In fact, the cloud is capable of benefiting almost every facet of an organization’s products, services, and processes.

Top-notch computing power can bring about a deeper understanding of customers’ needs, for instance, while additional processing capacity can be called upon to execute more intricate analytics or to generate customized business insights.

Since both experimentation and testing new ideas are more cost-effective and less time-consuming, innovation is faster and less risky. All this advances revenue growth opportunities in a number of ways, including acceleration of lead time for new products, entry into new markets, and response to competitive threats.

Myth #2

Cloud Computing Costs More Than In-House Computing.

Cloud economics is currently one of the most controversial topics in enterprise-class IT. The reality is complex, as the cost is greatly determined by a company’s starting point – and its capacity to manage and maximize cloud consumption once there.

Organizations confronting large-scale data center upgrades will find cloud adoption appealing as a means of avoiding colossal capital expenditures on assets they may not take full advantage of for years. On the other hand, companies that may have recently footed the bill for a new data center might find that migrating to the cloud would double up some infrastructure costs.

Another fundamental difference is between companies with costly license agreements that are difficult to vacate and companies with limited penalties for transitioning. In addition, storage-intensive workloads are often less expensive in the cloud than those demanding a great deal of network bandwidth, as cloud service providers (CSPs) typically charge by the unit for network access.

Starting point notwithstanding, many companies moving to the cloud have enjoyed significant cost benefits thanks to the cloud’s shared-resource model and autoscaling. Rather than possessing a cluster on-premises and paying for round-the-clock access, companies pay cloud service providers for CPU on an as-needed basis.

In the event that the shared-resource model does not result in total cost of ownership (TCO) savings, it’s commonly because companies lack proper resource governance, or they migrate applications intended to run internally without modifying their resource consumption models.

Such applications won’t fully harness the benefits of autoscaling and are costlier to manage and maintain than applications that are native to the cloud. Thus, to keep operating costs low and to optimize benefits, companies need to analyze their applications’ architectures, remediate their portfolio as necessary, and institute new transparency and governance processes.

The central concern for cloud economics is whether the reduced run-rate cost on the cloud legitimizes the up-front costs of remediation, providing that all configurations and governance are executed appropriately. Even in such cases where a company’s starting point makes remediation too cost-prohibitive, the business benefits explored in Myth #1 are often a stronger justification for migrating to the cloud and supersede the short-term IT cost obstacles entirely.

Myth #3

Cloud Security Is Inferior in Quality to the Security We Can Configure and Control in Our Own Datacenter.

Traditionally, executives have pointed to the security – or the perceived lack thereof – of public cloud infrastructure as one of their primary concerns and a major hindrance to cloud adoption. In recent times, however, all major CSPs have invested heavily in their fundamental security capabilities.

A CSP’s business model hinges on world-class security, and they’ve collectively spent billions on cloud security and recruiting thousands of the top cyber experts. They’ve formulated a vast collection of new tools and techniques to make the cloud more secure, in many instances requiring developers to shoulder the security responsibility instead of looking to a traditional security team to bear the burden.

This is especially significant, as public cloud breaches have almost entirely been driven by enterprise customers’ unsecured configurations. In fact, Gartner anticipates that 99% of cloud security failures through the year 2025 will be the fault of the customer and not that of the security provider.

Hence, developers must be retrained to comply with scrupulously detailed governance and policies on how to set up the correct security controls. For instance, if policy dictates that all data must be encrypted, it is the responsibility of the developers to initiate the proper application programming interface (API), signaling to the CSP that they want data in a specific storage bucket to be encrypted.

In order for these new policies to be effective, the cloud calls for companies to adopt a DevSecOps operating model, where security is a cornerstone of every software project. IT organizations must automate security services across the full development cycle and deploy them using APIs or else run the risk of vulnerable configurations.

Therefore, the central question for organizations is not whether the cloud is more secure in the first place, but what actions they need to take to fortify their cloud security. Companies that establish appropriate policies, implement a secure DevSecOps operating model, and develop or employ the right personnel can achieve safer operations in their cloud environments than on-premises.

The Technical Implications

Myth #4

Applications Running on Cloud Providers’ Networks Have Greater Latency Than Those Running on In-House Networks.

Some organizational leaders anticipate that when they shift to the cloud, they will experience higher latency (aka lag) on a CSP’s network than they will on their own. However, latency is usually the end result of the IT department trying to backhaul its data through in-house data centers.

Backhauling, or routing traffic through internal networks, can lead to higher latency, unnecessary complexity, and a dismal user experience. IT departments that opt to backhaul generally either lack experience or trust (or both) with cloud security – presuming that they’ll have greater control by backhauling – or they’re trying to access critical data or apps housed in on-premises datacenters.

It’s imperative for IT departments that are backhauling for enhanced security to recognize that CSPs now offer more robust perimeter options and that there’s no need to suffer latency for security. While backhauling was the preferred model for perimeter security just a couple of years ago, companies are now employing alternative techniques – most notably clean-sheeting, or forming a “virtual perimeter” with cloud-specific controls. In fact, in a recent McKinsey IT security survey, 89% of cloud users do not anticipate that they’ll still be utilizing a backhauling approach by the end of 2021.

IT departments that are backhauling for critical data or applications should give precedence to creating a “data lake” in conjunction with their CSP and transport the majority of their data and analytics processing to the cloud, utilizing data replication only where absolutely necessary. This will permit them to unleash the power of cloud-enabled analytics while at the same time resolving any latency problems.

Once organizations cease backhauling their data, they’re less likely to encounter higher latency on the cloud, as there’s no intrinsic difference between a cloud service provider’s IP circuits, pipes, and cables and their own data center’s.

Indeed, companies may even experience lower latency in the cloud, due to cloud service providers’ advantages in content delivery. With their multifaceted, global footprint of data centers and their hefty investment in content delivery network services, CSPs can deliver content at the optimum speed – contingent upon location, content request, and server availability – on a level that most companies would be hard-pressed to attain in-house.

Myth #5

Moving to the Cloud Eliminates the Need for an Infrastructure Organization.

The concept of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – that an outside provider will oversee your essential network, hardware, and resources – is a compelling proposition for many company executives. Nevertheless, the misconception occurs when leaders interpret IaaS as a total replacement for their infrastructure organization. While the cloud profoundly alters the actions, personnel, and operating model demanded in an internal infrastructure group (and beyond it), it does not completely replace the necessity for infrastructure management.

When enterprises transition to the cloud, they will discover a number of services that can be combined and configured in order to impact performance, security, resiliency, and more. This calls for an infrastructure team that can construct and manage standard templates, architectures, and services that can be used by the company’s development teams. Since cloud infrastructure is primarily administered through code, this infrastructure team will involve a variety of skill sets so it will be able to function similarly to an app development team. Without this infrastructure team developing standardized services and platforms, many organizations will simply duplicate the fragmentation and chaos they experienced on-premises.

To make room for this shift in function, infrastructure organizations must transition to a proactive (as opposed to a reactive) operating model. Instead of addressing customized requests from development teams – which can take months and quickly become pricy – cloud infrastructure teams should proactively evaluate organizational needs and transform this into a dependable, automated platform on the cloud. As a result, the ownership rests more directly on the development teams themselves, giving them more flexibility to rapidly configure the resources they require. Not only will application teams net more direct responsibility over costs, but this additional flexibility will result in improved productivity and faster speed as well.

In general, traditional infrastructure teams running the cloud would be too massive, too cost-prohibitive, and would forfeit the benefits of having app teams bear a shared responsibility for the operating costs they incur. Conversely, not having an infrastructure team at all would neutralize an organization’s ability to manage and benefit from the cloud. Alternatively, a leaner, more specialized infrastructure organization is needed in order to obtain the broader scope of agility, innovation, and performance benefits of the cloud.

The Transition...

Myth #6

The Most Efficient Method to Migrate to the Cloud Is to Either Concentrate on Applications or on Entire Data Centers.

It’s a standard misbelief that an enterprise must choose one of these two alternatives in order to effectively transition to the cloud.

In the application-by-application approach, organizations come up against undesirable scale dynamics. While they continue paying for on-premises data centers and IT support, they’re also paying cloud service providers for hosting a subset of applications. Moving a subset of applications doesn’t benefit the business if those applications comprise only part of a business domain’s portfolio.

On the other hand, organizations that transport an entire data center to the cloud may be forced to contend with a sizable up-front investment, as well as the risk involved therewith. Many of the myriad applications in a data center were probably never intended to run in the cloud. Organizations will need to invest in various forms of remediation, which can become expensive and precarious when carried out all at once.

Rather, companies should look to transfer business domains to the cloud – such as customer onboarding and consumer payments. By transporting these business domains, companies will be able to enjoy the complete range of potential cloud benefits: faster time-to-market, improved agility, greater reliability, and so much more. Along with the business benefits, migrating a business domain is a much smaller lift than moving an entire data center, meaning that cost and risk will be more convenient. Once one business domain starts to encounter these improvements in time-to-market, agility, and reliability, making the case for transferring the remaining domains will become much easier.

The Cost and the Value

Myth #7

To Move to the Cloud, You Must Either Lift and Shift Applications As They Currently Are or Refactor Them Completely.

When companies commit to moving to the cloud, they’re often pressured to move fast, keep costs down, and optimize business benefits. Subsequently, organizational leaders believe that they have to choose between a quicker and cheaper “lift and shift” transition strategy – so as to move fast and minimize costs – and a time-intensive and costly refactoring strategy – in order to harness business benefits.

While lift and shift – virtualizing the application and dropping it into the cloud “as is” – can be a quicker and more economical technique to move a lot of applications into the cloud at once, it fails to capture the majority of the cloud’s benefits. That’s because there’s no fundamental change to the architecture of the application, which often isn’t optimized for the cloud and therefore won’t benefit from features like autoscaling, automated performance management, etc. Moreover, the non-native application will likely experience higher latency or other performance issues, and its preexisting problems will now merely reside in a CSP’s data center rather than the company’s.

By contrast, a total refactoring of the application and its architecture to optimize for the cloud takes a fair bit of time, skill, and money. For certain, it still achieves the advantages that lift and shift ignores, but so gradually and at such considerable cost that break-even is often unattainable. Refactoring also makes the transition more susceptible to errors during the complex process of re-coding, configuration, and integration.

Many organizations find that they’re better off taking a best-of-both-worlds approach that utilizes established techniques such as automation, abstraction, and containerization. These methods are more cost-effective and less time-consuming than full refactorization but still permit companies to enjoy the business benefits of enhanced agility, faster time-to-market, and greater resiliency.

Final Thoughts

Many of today’s viewpoints about the cloud are predicated on misconceptions fueled by stories of adoptions gone badly or by general aversion to momentous change. These misguided ideas only serve to impede a deeper understanding of the productive business, operational, and economic impacts of the cloud. In order for organizations to realize the full value of the cloud, these myths must be sorted out and cast aside.

If you’d like to know more about how DataGroup Technologies can help future-proof your business by moving some or all of its assets to the cloud, give us a call today at 252.329.1382 or drop us a line here!

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6 Indicators That You Need to Overhaul Your Data Recovery Plan

6 Indicators That You Need to Overhaul Your Data Recovery Plan

Disaster recovery planning is no easy undertaking, but it’s an important one. With a wide variety of different data recovery plans that businesses can implement, the process of determining the best fit can be intimidating. A number of organizations still neglect to adequately invest in disaster recovery – considering the resources, funding, and amount of time needed to execute a solution – even though the ramifications of a disaster can easily surpass the investment.

In spite of how much effort has been devoted to your strategy, you might think that your organization’s data recovery plan is sweeping and unassailable. Regardless, if you haven’t evaluated it recently, it’s possible that your data recovery plan needs to be updated. With that in mind, we’ve come up with six surefire signs that it’s time to update your data recovery plan:

Languishing Servers

As a server ages, it begins to deteriorate; thus, the probability of a crash tumbling an organization’s network starts to escalate considerably. This is a recovery scenario you need to plan for. Replacing a server can be challenging and costly, but doing so will boost business efficiency, leading to reduced costs as opposed to using an older server that’s susceptible to crashes.

Outsourcing the monitoring of your servers and critical data to an IT support company can help you recognize potential problems before a disaster can materialize. Approaching maintenance in this manner enables your organization to prepare for planned outages within your infrastructure, including patch installation, security updates, and service packs.

Ill-Suited Infrastructure

Small- and medium-sized businesses can often become too reliant on their in-house IT teams to track, repair, and upgrade the network and corporate IT assets around the clock. However, a lack of experience often results in the task list exceeding the IT team’s ability to execute it; this, in turn, can beget errors.

When your IT team is constantly consumed with resolving day-to-day issues, it may not be plausible for them to gain a thorough understanding of system upgrades or identify how they can affect existing systems. If this is a frequent occurrence for your business, it may be time to revamp your data recovery plan.

These circumstances make it considerably simpler to misconfigure a network and can translate into devices becoming incompatible with business-critical applications if the network can’t be accessed. When this scenario results in downtime, your staff is being paid while work is not being completed, triggering a financial loss. In addition, if all devices on the network are impacted, the organization has a bigger problem to solve, with business resources taking a negative hit.

One way to counter this situation is to partner with an IT support company that can monitor the necessary system upgrades within your infrastructure, from setup to completion. By the same token, a managed services provider (MSP) can complete a comprehensive audit of your infrastructure to figure out how data passes through the network. This will enable you to better develop your future IT strategy.

Large RPO and RTO Windows

Recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) are two key elements of a solid data recovery plan. RPOs determine how much data an organization can bear to lose in the event of a disaster. On the other hand, RTOs reveal how much time an organization can allow to pass between the beginning of the recovery process and its completion.

Minimizing RPOs and RTOs is a primary goal of IT managers. When these values are lowered, businesses undergo a lesser amount of downtime, increased productivity, reduced costs, and a diminished risk of credibility loss.

A key approach to curtailing your RPOs and RTOs is by ramping up the frequency of your backups. With a greater number of backups comes an increase in the number of snapshots of your all-important data. Having more of these snapshots naturally limits your RPOs. Escalating backup frequency also decreases your RTOs, since having recent backups minimizes the total recovery time.

Replication is also a way to help lessen RTO windows. In replicating your data, you will retain a copy of it to revert to should a disaster occur, which lowers your RTOs. When using an off-premises secondary server, your RTO will be limited to the amount of time it takes to switch over from one server to the other. Your RPO will be determined by how often you replicate your data. Replication at a higher frequency results in a lower RPO. Simply put, minimizing RPOs and RTOs can reap substantial benefits for your business.

 

You’re Making Use of Multiple Data Recovery Tools

Using a wide array of recovery tools can be a contributing factor in a lagging data recovery plan. This technique suggests an incremental strategy, a disjointed group of tools intended to function independently of one another and on separate schedules. The more diverse your disaster recovery resources are, the more likely it is that a certain element of your plan will go awry at an inopportune time. Merging these disconnected systems is vital in order to alleviate the risk and simplify the recovery process.

Overdependence on On-Premise Backups

In the event of a natural disaster, equipment failure, or power outage, any backup files kept on-premises will be unavailable. In addition, ransomware has progressed to the point where it can automatically remove any on-site backup files and encrypt the original files. Due to this possibility, implementing a comprehensive backup plan is an exceptional way to preemptively secure your data from disaster.

One method to contemplate putting into action is the 3-2-1 backup strategy. This involves maintaining three copies of any set of data, two copies of which are stored on local devices, such as a server and an on-premise backup appliance. One copy is then kept off-site in an online storage space in the cloud or an equivalent location.

You Haven’t Tested Your Data Recovery Plan In a While

Having a data recovery plan is all well and good, but it means nothing if you can’t prove that it actually works! To verify that your plan is effective, you must thoroughly test each step of it.

With repeated testing, you’ll be well-informed as to how your organization will respond and be affected by a disaster that undermines business continuity. Testing also makes allowances for any weaknesses in the plan to come to light, providing the information you need to adjust the plan as necessary.

Final Thoughts

The value of having a rock-solid data recovery plan has never been more evident than it is presently. To minimize the amount of time spent scrambling amidst an emergency, use the COVID-19 outbreak as an opportunity to closely inspect your business continuity plan. Take the time to upgrade and test the plan to make sure that you and your business will be ready the next time disaster strikes.

Need help getting started? We can help! At DataGroup Technologies, recovering your business data is our top priority. No recovery is too big or too small for our expert team! Give us a call today at 252.329.1382 or visit our website to learn how we can help you #SimplifyIT!

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