Does Your Cloud Service Provider Have A Data Disaster Recovery Plan?

Chris Ecker | 11.12.14
Topics: Cloud Computing, Outsourced IT - Technical Questions

The other day I was waiting in line for a sandwich, famished, when from behind me I heard the words cloud, data center, and crash. I pretended not to listen, thinking it would be a good opportunity to conduct some informal market research. Besides, it would keep my mind off my growling stomach.

What Happens If Your Cloud Service Provider Does Not Have A Data Disaster Recovery Plan?

His story wasn’t so good. The data center hosting his company’s network – as well as their website, data, and applications – had a failure. It sounded like their office was offline for a few days. That’s a big deal.

Protect Your Data with a Disaster Recovery Plan

After a while, it became clear just how big a deal it was. The details of the crash’s impact were tough to hear – complaint calls, lost orders, disrupted meetings, etc. Do I say something? And then my number was called – saved by my sandwich.

Still, it got me thinking. What kind of hosting “solution” did he have? Didn’t he know what would happen if there was a data center failure? 

And then I realized: How would he know unless someone told him? Maybe he didn’t know to ask his provider. But his provider should have been transparent about backup, reliability, and uptime. How could he not know, or know to ask?

Here’s what you need to know before you sign a cloud hosting contract, so you don’t end up in a similar situation.

If your data center has a disaster (a crash or a failure), you will be down until they restore your service. How long that takes depends on the severity of the crash.

Like the guy at the deli, you could be down for a very long time, unless your cloud provider has a disaster recovery (DR) site – another physical data center location to which your data is replicated and where systems can be failed over to.

Failover is when cloud service is transferred from a failing data center to a healthy one, so service is not interrupted. You want this feature in your hosting agreement to keep your operations running smoothly in the event of a problem at your primary data center.

We have multiple data centers for our DelCor Cloud Connection service, with locations in Northern Virginia and Chicago. Each acts as the disaster recovery and replication site for the other. 

Any kind of DR effort requires using backups and/or replications that are restored from some point-in-time in the past. If your cloud provider isn’t providing DR as part of the underlying cloud service, you’ll want to find a new cloud provider. Even if there are additional expenses for a DR solution, it’s better than not having access to your network, website, and data for days. 

If you’re not sure whether or what kind of DR services your cloud solution provides, talk to them and get answers – or give us a call here at DelCor to talk through various scenarios.

And never sign a contract on an empty stomach.

Looking for more information about information security? We’ve got you covered. Check out our eBook The Cybersecurity Watchlist for Association and Nonprofit Executives for more information on threats to your organization’s security and how you can prevent your data from being compromised. 

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Flickr photo by Emily Orpin

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