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How the cloud can help you grow and remain compliant after a disaster

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In my two earlier posts I talked about the need for a disaster recovery solution and how the cloud can form the basis for that solution. In this post I will discuss how the use of cloud for disaster recovery can help you remain compliant and how it can generate new business opportunities. I will also talk briefly about what you should consider in terms of disaster recovery when building a new solution on the cloud.

Cloud can provide compliance and new business opportunities

3g graph arrows move up in perspective vector backgroundCompliance is something that enterprises need to consider very carefully, and that does not change when using a cloud solution. In a previous post I described some offerings that can be purchased as disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). Each of the offerings from IBM that I mentioned is compliant with different international standards. Since the compliance requirements change as the offerings evolve, I urge you to contact IBM to verify that they are compliant with your requirements. In addition to those mentioned previously, there are other offerings in the market that can help you be compliant with different standards. IBM recently launched IBM SmartCloud Data Virtualization, which provides a brand new way of looking at data protection in an enterprise. The interesting thing is that not only does it protect your data, but it also gives you fast methods for working on your data sets and copies. It can thus help you use your data in novel and interesting ways, and can possibly create new business opportunities for you. For an interesting view on how data protection is changing these days, take a look at this round table discussion:

Building cloud solutions with business continuity in mind

I have already covered solutions that allow you to enable disaster recovery on various levels for your solutions that use cloud. These alternatives are not dependant on whether the source system is a cloud solution—they work in all cases.

So, what if you are creating a brand new “born on cloud” solution? Can you then build any kind of disaster recovery into your solution? The answer is “of course!” If you factor in the disaster recovery requirements of your solution from the start, not only can it simplify your strategy, but it can also become a business benefit. Large, successful cloud-based solutions have taken this into account from the start, and they have actually turned one of the potential problems with the cloud into a driver to become more resilient. Just look at what Netflix has done by incorporating cloud infrastructure in multiple locations and making their solution extremely scalable without any real single point of failure.

The capabilities of a cloud service like IBM SoftLayer allow you to create a highly resilient infrastructure. In particular:

• SoftLayer has a tiered network architecture in which you have access to three different networks. One of these is the SoftLayer network backbone, where there is no charge for transport of data. If you utilize this to replicate your data between different SoftLayer data centers using any of the technologies available in the cloud offering, you safeguard yourself from a regional outage.

• SoftLayer provides different manners of load balancing. If you use these in your architecture, you can distribute your load in a fault-tolerant manner, which will ensure that your services continue in the event of an emergency.

• SoftLayer has data centers in multiple regions of the world (America, Asia and Europe), and by spanning these regions you can create a solution that is tolerant even in the event of a large disaster.

• SoftLayer now has enterprise-grade backup capabilities.

Are you using data virtualization, and has it provided any new business opportunities for you? Have you built a new solution on the cloud and taken into consideration the resiliency and disaster recovery capabilities at an early stage? I would love to hear from you.

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