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When is having a cloud-based disaster recovery plan critical?

Cloud disaster recovery is accessible, affordable and reliable and has become a strong alternative to on-premises DR. In some situations, it may even be essential.

There's no question that a cloud-based disaster recovery plan is a popular option, but there are situations where using the cloud is critical.

While the rise of cloud computing came with initial security and reliability concerns, especially in terms of data protection, most of these concerns have faded as the cloud has evolved and become more secure.

Just about every service you can think of exists in the cloud, and disaster recovery is no exception. But not every organization uses the cloud as part of their disaster recovery strategy the same way, specifically when it comes to the recovery aspect.

When should you consider cloud as an absolute necessity in your disaster recovery strategy? Below are three examples of moments where a cloud-based disaster recovery plan is essential.

1. When recovery needs to be measured in single-digit minutes. There are plenty of newer recovery technologies and methods used to reduce recovery time objectives (RTOs) down to next to nothing. But when you consider adhering to that RTO in every possible disaster scenario, using the cloud as a recovery target makes sense. Depending on the situation, you can use the cloud proactively via replication or reactively as part of a recovery effort.

2. When data center loss is a real risk. A risk analysis can help you identify when critical business workloads may face a disaster resulting in the loss of a data center. When data center infrastructure loss is a realistic possibility, it becomes necessary to consider recovering to a reliable and cost-effective cloud provider that can host your workloads. If your data center is in a natural-disaster-prone region, having a cloud-based disaster recovery plan is a must.

3. When the cloud meets your needs more than on-premises recovery. With workforces becoming more remote, line-of-business applications becoming increasingly cloud-based and organizations taking a cloud-first approach to evolving the business, the idea of recovering back to on-premises seems a bit outdated. Instead, you should look for ways to use cloud services and resources when it's time to refresh hardware and software. The cloud's ability to be extensible, scalable, accessible and reliable often makes it a much better choice than your on-premises network.

The benefits of a cloud-based disaster recovery plan now far outweigh typical cloud concerns of the past. Today, issues such as privacy, compliance and data security are all addressed by cloud service providers upfront. This enables you to focus on providing the desired disaster recovery services -- without concerning yourself about anything other than the recovery task at hand.

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