The problem with business is that it is impossible to account for every possibility. No matter how extensive any sort of overarching disaster recovery or continuity strategy might be, there will always be that one consideration that failed to be made. From not being prepared in the event of a tornado to the cup of coffee that was spilled on a vital server rack, even the combined experiences of many managers cannot fully realize an entire threat landscape right off of the bat.

This is why organizations need to invest in DR/BC assets that cast a broad net of protection. There have to be tools in place that can account for both physical system failures and data loss of varying degrees. Modern technology has provided enterprises with a solution in the form of cloud computing.

More businesses every day are implementing the cloud within their organizations and learning about its inherent flexibility. This is a particularly useful trait in the way of disaster recovery, as it provides a certain level of protection that makes DR assets always available. The cloud is quickly becoming a standard for organizations of every size, and those who wish to keep up with their competitors should begin to examine how these kinds of servers can benefit their offices specifically.

Nature of enterprise is unpredictable
The sad truth is that there is no way to know what is waiting around the corner. It could be a cyberattack or a power outage, but regardless of the details, there stands to be significant damage to equipment and systems alike.

According to an infographic published on CloudTweaks, the most common cause of downtime was uninterruptible power supply battery failure, with 55 percent of organizations citing that they had experienced it at one point or another. Battery failure was followed by human error (48 percent) and an exceeded UPS capacity (46 percent). Other reasons that made the list were weather-related incidents, water incursion and various forms of equipment failure.

These figures signify that companies are not only being hit with downtime, but are experiencing several instances where their severs are being taken offline or their data is being corrupted. In today’s rapidly-moving corporate world, the longer these systems are down, the more dire the situation becomes.

Pace of business magnifies threat of downtime
The consumerization of IT has underscored the need for companies to be agile. Because customers are moving so fast and have a vast set of rival businesses to choose from over the Internet, as little as a few hours of downtime can cost millions of dollars in lost time and revenue.

The infographic on CloudTweaks found that 93 percent of organizations go bankrupt within a year if their data center operations go down for at least 10 days. Added to that, 43 percent of companies never even get a chance to reopen after a large-scale outage, and only 6 percent that have no disaster recovery plans in place will be able to sustain longevity. These are concerning numbers that only illustrate how serious organizations need to be about DR.

Turning to the cloud
All of these concerns, however, have a clear answer. The cloud makes it possible to store and manage redundancies to make them always available. But there are some differences in how cloud needs to be perceived when compared to more traditional methods of recovery.

While it may have once been acceptable to keep backups onsite and store them within physical media like tapes and external hard drives, it is quickly being realized that this does not prevent against incidents that destroy the workplace itself. Keeping them in a remote location can complicate things even more, as the number of backup procedures that need to occur might not be feasible if the storage site is too great a distance to travel regularly.

But the cloud makes physical backups irrelevant. By enlisting the services of a trusted private server host, companies can keep their redundancies far out of harm’s way while also making sure that frequent updates are made. This way, regardless of whether the in-house hardware or system is impacted by negative elements, the possibility of recovery is much greater.

“Cloud-enabled DR delivers a number of advantages over traditional DR architectures, which generally involve data being moved or replicated to a physical, off-site facility,” wrote TechTarget contributor Arun Taneja. “Ongoing operating expenses are also reduced as users no longer have to pay power and cooling costs for remote equipment. Because the cloud is economically priced and can allocate capacity and performance on demand, customers only have to pay for the resources consumed.”

Avoid public architectures
It should be advised, however, that not all clouds are created equal. Public infrastructures are considered to be inefficient for business due to their shared server space, which can cause complications for security and service. To obtain enterprise class cloud computing, private providers must be sought out.