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Private cloud disaster recovery services vs. public

There is a wide range of cloud DR services. Whether you choose public or private cloud, or a little of both, you need to weigh the risk and cost of each option.

There are pros and cons for different cloud disaster recovery service scenarios. People often think of DR as a...

technical decision, but it is actually more of a business decision with business implications.

Here we take a look at public cloud vs. private cloud disaster recovery.

Private cloud

The company owns the entire infrastructure and has to pay for everything, whether it is used or not. While private cloud disaster recovery may seem expensive, you get to control everything and can use your resources as you see fit. It gives a huge degree of flexibility that is often not available in public clouds.

Unlike public clouds, private clouds are not a shared resource. There is no contention or slowdown as they are company-owned resources (assuming everything has been correctly specified beforehand).

While it may be a rarity, a natural disaster could mean a lot of companies want to fail over to their cloud disaster recovery service at the same time. Knowing that your resources are guaranteed is a benefit not to be ignored.

The administrator and business control what comes up, when and how. It does come with a relatively high cost, though. You are not a number at the mercy of the cloud provider. (This scenario is separate and distinct from a cloud provider failing over its data center, which is a whole different ballgame.)

The major downside to a private cloud disaster recovery approach is that it is limited to those who can afford it. It comes at a very steep price, so it's not for everyone.

Public cloud

Smaller companies can use the public cloud for DR failover. It allows them to have a DR capability that wasn't available previously within their budget. Those resources are not guaranteed, however, so a natural disaster could result in some contention when everyone tries to fail over to the cloud disaster recovery service.

Hybrid approach

Going in another direction, a hybrid approach is, by far, the most popular solution with companies, irrespective of size. There are many reasons, but the main factor is that it is cheaper to use someone else's cloud and not have to pay the additional costs for cooling, rent, depreciation and so on. Shared resources equal lower costs. With this approach, you keep the key applications on site and put the rest into a backup provider of choice.

It is also possible to take the hybrid approach and have key applications and infrastructure fail over to private cloud disaster recovery resources and then have the tier-two applications fail over to the public cloud.

At the end of the day, it is more the level of risk the company is willing to bear versus the cost of the cloud disaster recovery service. Crucial "must-have" and "nice-to-have" resources can be divided among the cloud environments, effectively managing an organization's risk.

This was last published in December 2017

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Which do you prefer for your disaster recovery service -- public cloud or private cloud -- and why?
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