Cloud securityMore companies adopt cloud disaster recovery solutions

Published 18 October 2012

More and more companies adopt a cloud disaster recovery solution; in a recent 2012 TechTarget Cloud Pulse survey, a majority of the 926 companies that responded have said they are now using a cloud disaster recovery system or plan to in the next six months

The number of cloud-based recovery systems continues to increase // Source:

In 2008, Jessica Carroll, managing director of IT and digital media as the United States Golf Association (USGA), was faced with the task of bringing her IT shop into the twenty-first century. Carroll needed a quick, seamless way to access her information, which led her to consider and eventually adopt a cloud disaster recovery solution from IBM. “It enabled us to port our data to an off-site location without adding strain to the administration of managing the backups, without adding huge amounts of infrastructure and without unreasonable costs.” Carroll told Search CIO.

The idea worked so well that the USGA set up a secondary site at an IBM facility in Sterling Forest, New York, which included servers and personnel prepared to recreate the IT environment in case of an emergency.

Now other companies are starting to do the same. In a recent 2012 TechTarget Cloud Pulse survey, a majority of the 926 companies that responded have said they are now using a cloud disaster recovery system or plan to in the next six months.

For Alan Berman, president of the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) International,the rise is no surprise after giving speeches on the subject in North America, South America, and Asia. “We’ve already seen more and more use of [cloud disaster recovery] on a personal level, and we’re going to be seeing more and more on a business level.” Berman told Search CIO.

Berman said at a recent DRI International show, 25 percent of businesses are using cloud-based disaster recovery now and thirty-five percent plan to in the future.

The rise in cloud disaster recovery is mostly due to small and medium businesses.  The ease of use is an attraction for small businesses with limited IT expertise, but the price tag is the biggest draw. “It’s the perfect thing for small businesses,” Berman said. “It gives them full portability, and it’s relatively cheap, especially the backup storage — 100 gigs costs about $100 a year, and you never have to worry about backup.”

SearchCIOnotes that in today’s economy, many companies do not want to invest in hardware, knowing that at some point they will have to increase their server pool when they need to expand. A cloud solution alleviates these issues, and at the same time can remove disaster recovery related assets off the books, increasing revenue. 

Real estate is expensive; electricity is expensive; hardware is expensive and has to be replaced. I think the fact that businesses can knock all that from capital expenditures is an important part of what’s driving this.” Berman said.

As good as cloud disaster recovery has been, Gene Ruth, an analyst at  Gartner Inc.,is cautioning businesses, especially large ones, to do their research on cloud before committing to it. “I’m very bullish on cloud storage in general, but I don’t know about the six-month time frame,” Ruth told Search CIO. “You need to be patient, because it’s an evolving industry.” In particular, the infrastructure that allows access to the cloud to begin with is still developing, as are cloud gateways and software that supports disaster recovery in the cloud. “Customers need to get comfortable with it.”

For Carroll the cloud system has paid off nicely and as a result she would recommend the system to any business. “Focus on the information that is most critical to your business and that you will absolutely need in order to get your business up and running in a disaster,” Carroll told Search CIO. “And at the end of the day the best answer to comfort with cloud DR/BC is test, test, test.”