How to Design a Cloud-Ready Disaster Recovery Infrastructure

Emergencies happen, entire platforms go down, but the business process must go on! Right? This recent DCK story says it best: “The Year in Downtime: The Top 10 Outages of 2013.” We’ve seen all sorts of issues happen with both cloud and private environments.

It’s important to create an environment capable of supporting business continuity needs. This means understanding the fact that the cloud can and will potentially go down. For example, in a recent major cloud outage, a simple SSL certificate was allowed to expire. This then created a global, cascading failure taking down numerous vital public cloud components. Who was the provider? Microsoft Azure. Over the past few years, organizations found it challenging to enter the DR and even business continuity conversation.

First thing’s first: it’s important to understand that disaster recovery and business continuity are two different business objectives. However, they can certainly overlap. Even today there is still some confusion about what the cloud can really deliver. It’s not so much how the cloud works, but more so around DR capabilities.

Whether you’re a small shop or a large enterprise, if you have haven’t look at the cloud as a DR or business continuity option, it’s time that you do. Already, organizations of all sizes are looking at ways to expand their platform – intelligently – into the cloud. The idea is to create a powerful, pay-as-you-go, recovery solution. For example, Bluelock already has some pretty powerful recovery-as-a-service (RaaS) options. Bluelock’s Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions enable organizations to recover their IT resources efficiently and effectively when an adverse situation strikes, protecting you from loss of revenue, data, or reputation. The idea is to create a solution by combining the benefits of a multi-tenant cloud with the latest recovery technology to get a highly reliable, testable and enterprise-grade recovery solution at a compelling price point.

That said, there are specific cloud technologies which have become driving factors for better business IT redundancy. Before we get into the execution part of a DRBC strategy, it’s important to look at the solutions that help make it all happen.

  • Cloud-based traffic management. This is all about global traffic management (GTM) and global server load balancing (GSLB). Our ability to logically control traffic over vast distances has allowed the cloud to become a true hub for many different kinds of DR strategies.  
  • Software-defined everything! We now have hardware abstraction at its greatest. Let’s face it, working with today’s modern networking controllers is pretty nice. We can now create thousands of virtual connection points from one physical switch port. Plus, we’re able to control layer 4-7 traffic at a much more granular level. Furthermore, solutions around storage, compute and security can further create powerful cloud resiliency models.
  • Virtualization and automation. Working with agile technologies like virtualization allows the sharing, replication, and backup of various kinds of images and workloads. These images can then span global data centers depending on the needs of the organization. Couple that with automation technologies and you can now span your platform from one infrastructure to another very seamlessly. Plus, you can better control resources which span numerous nodes.
  • New types of storage and hardware intelligence. Cloud-based storage solutions have come a long way. Whether we’re working with an open-source cloud storage platform or something more traditional like an EMC or NetApp, our ability to control storage is pretty advanced. Data deduplication, controller multi-tenancy, and fast site-to-site replication make cloud storage systems a powerful part of the DR process. Hardware solutions aside, the logical layer of storage is pretty powerful as well. Software-defined storage completely abstracts physical components and allows for VMs, data points and other infrastructure resources to scale very dynamically.

Now, let’s look at some ways that DRBC can really happen in the modern enterprise.

Pages: 1 2

Get Daily Email News from DCK!
Subscribe now and get our special report, "The World's Most Unique Data Centers."

Enter your email to receive messages about offerings by Penton, its brands, affiliates and/or third-party partners, consistent with Penton's Privacy Policy.

About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

Add Your Comments

  • (will not be published)


  1. Isn't calling cloud based operations or backup "disaster recovery" a little misleading? If everything starts on the cloud, what happens when the cloud goes down? And if it's backed up on the cloud, it's cloud backup not disaster recovery.....

  2. I find this post interesting about the new types of storage and hardware intelligence.Cloud-based storage solutions have come a long way. Whether we’re working with an open-source cloud storage platform or something more traditional like an EMC or NetApp, our ability to control storage is pretty advanced.