By JAMES M. MYERS
Storage, network, and computing systems have all increased in performance
consistent with Moore’s Law (doubling
every two years). Software solutions are
now available to tie all these components
together into a blended compute and storage infrastructure. “Cloud computing” is
leading this shift to an outsourced information technology (IT), possibly across
This shift of computing resources (
internal to external) is a strategic initiative that
needs to be seriously considered. It may
have direct impact on enhancing the technical recoverability and operational resilience
of an enterprise. It may take some time
before businesses are willing to move their
core applications or their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud, but if they do, they
need to know and understand what cloud
vendor responsibilities are and what their
own responsibilities and costs will be.
The intent of growing, managing and
maintaining a business resilient enterprise
is to ensure critical business data, systems,
processes, human resources and infrastructure are up and running prior, during
and post a business interruption event.
Business resiliency is based upon two key
16 DISASTER RECOVERY JOURNAL FALL 2009
processes, human resources and
An effective DR program ensures the
ongoing availability of core company data,
IT systems and software. An effective BC
program ensures core business processes
are connected; employees are knowledgeable of recovery efforts and procedures,
vendor service agreements are aligned
with recovery needs, government controls
are supported and the company premise remains viable. So, the multi-million
dollar question is, “What affect does cloud
computing have on existing and future
Cloud Computing and BC/DR
Every BC/DR program must take
into consideration the business metrics
that support a resilient enterprise. This
includes the amount and type of risk associated with moving to an outsourced environment. There are some strong business
reasons why companies outsource their IT
departments to “the cloud.” Below is a list
of pros and cons as they relate to BC/DR
and business requirements:
1. Easy adoption for certain applications.
Roadblocks to entry are small for certain web-
- Less internal technical support – reduction in
- Reduction in training requirements
- Reduction in overall facilities cost
3. Minimal or no capital expenditure (CapEx).
4. Redundant systems and infrastructure can
exist within the cloud.
(assuming they’re available).
6. Access to knowledge data – where the only
requirement is Internet access.
not well suited to easily migrate to the cloud.
2. Company core data being managed by a third
3. Who has access to the company’s core data
may be unknown to the client.
4. Data security is dependent upon the vendor’s
security initiatives. These initiatives may
not coincide with legal and/or governmental
mandates stipulated by the client, or the
5. Type and level of redundancy within the cloud
may not support the required business metrics.
6. Propensity to get locked into a single vendor.
7. Inconsistencies in global regulatory issues.
8. Less creativity and freedom to grow and/or
change strategic business initiatives.
9. Leadership thinking the cloud solves
everything for BC/DR – it doesn’t.
10. Data replication with system redundancy still
may be needed outside the cloud.