As the collection and use of data becomes increasingly important for companies, the need for information security has also grown. Severe weather and other regional disasters can render private data centers useless, meaning a regional service provider's resources may not always be available when an organization may need them. Disaster recovery has become a major part of enterprise business continuity efforts, but choosing the right recovery plan can prove difficult.

Many companies are finding that private cloud platforms provide the best option for disaster recovery, and are implementing a Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service solution. According to eWEEK, Forrester Research stated in a recent survey that DRaaS adoption has grown steadily, currently sitting at 19 percent of companies. Another 22 percent of enterprises have plans to implement a DRaaS solution in the near future.

Assess business DR needs 
​When putting a disaster recovery plan in place, it is important for businesses to assess which capabilities are most important to them. Frequently, companies make the mistake of over investing in DR solutions and end up with a plan that is overly expensive and doesn't fit the needs of the organization.

Utilizing a private cloud platform for disaster recovery allows enterprises to pick and choose exactly what they need and leave the rest. At the same time, companies may have to increase the amount of disaster protection they have in the future. Private cloud solutions are incredibly scalable, allowing for changes in service to be made easily and quickly so all of an organization's sensitive data is always safe.

Reducing network downtime 
An important aspect of disaster recovery is limiting, or completely eliminating, network downtime so business can continue even when something goes wrong. InformationWeek's recent Backup Technologies Survey found that just 23 percent of IT professionals feel extremely confident that they would be able to get business running again in a timely manner if the main data center was taken out by a major disaster. Private cloud DR solutions allow for companies to be in complete control of what happens to the servers storing their data, reducing downtime and aiding business continuity.

The survey also found that many enterprise IT professionals were not properly testing data restoration processes. Fourteen percent of participants said they never assessed this aspect for some or all of their applications, and the number one answer for how frequently tests were conducted was "once in awhile."

Cloud-based disaster recovery makes it simple for IT departments to run scripted tests and take advantage of on-demand resources and technologies that allow for tests to be run at any time without disrupting applications.

Cloud offers DR flexibility
When choosing a DR solution, companies need to ensure that the backend hardware and software of the cloud provider is able to run applications the same way they would in the original production site. Private cloud DR services ensure that business applications are running exactly the way they need to, because the platform is completely customizable by the company utilizing the service.

Implementing a DRaaS solution also allows companies to take advantage of tiered data storage. It is a misconception that all applications need to be grouped together in the same recovery plan, and it can actually cause more problems than it solves. Tiered storage is important, as it ensures business applications are consistently recovered in the most efficient way possible, while putting the most pertinent programs at the front of the line so enterprise functions can continue smoothly.

Another benefit of implementing a private cloud platform for an enterprise DR solution is the increased ability to meet compliance requirements. With a private infrastructure, companies can choose exactly how and where their data is stored, ensuring compliance at every level.