Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Cloud Security, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

No Masters in Disasters Needed By @BDVandegrift | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

Disasters that bring down corporate networks most often, walk through the front door on two legs

Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery - No Masters in Disasters Needed

The concept of a cloud facilitating applications is by no means new. Those of us who diagrammed network connectivity around 1993 will recall drawing a big puffy cloud symbol in between two local area networks. The cloud represented the mysterious Internet - that mash-up of routers and other items bouncing our packets back and forth through millions of ports, only to reassemble the bytes on the other end into - hopefully - the same item that was sent.

Today, we have dissipated that nebulous cloud symbol to accurately define its contents of firewalls, load-balancing devices, switches, routers and storage devices. As time passed, we even moved beyond the physical layer to embrace a virtual realm, as an obscure organization called VMware began to puncture its way out of EMC and take hold as a processing juggernaut, without the need for more heavy metal. But the cloud evolution was not completed at this time, by any means.

A gluttony of fiber optic cables and copper wires soon etched DSL's epithet to usher in a new frontier of enormous bandwidth that could shuttle gigantic data packets without sacrificing the payroll of a small nation. The back-end data centers were now in full operation and broad pipes ran directly into on-premise routers. The stage was set, as the most difficult parts of an IT administrator's job now existed somewhere else - commoditized and packaged for resale in convenient processing bundles "right sized" for specific application appetites.

That cloud from the 1990s had evolved into the Perfect Storm of "pay as you go" and "consume only what you need" services. Enterprise organizations no longer feared this rapidly approaching frontal system of clouds and welcomed its ability to conveniently host their CRM, e-mail, storage, R&D and other business-related applications. Indeed, cloud platforms have become scalable, accessible, high-performance solutions; all attributes that are extremely helpful for a new service to emerge: hosted disaster recovery solutions.

Disasters come in many different forms and the majority of them - that affect computer networks - do not hail from the sea, sky or deep within the tectonic plates of a continent. No, disasters that bring down corporate networks most often, walk through the front door on two legs, leave items in the refrigerator past the expiration date and take extended lunch breaks. These sons and daughters of man, aka employees, do more harm to business processes in one week than Mother Nature can conjure up in a year.

While most companies spend tremendous resources building in redundancy to ensure that the "hard" aspects of their network are reliable, it is easy to overlook the "soft," or human, element of a network and the related computer systems. Simply put: manmade network disasters occur with greater frequency and the corrective actions often taken are less than satisfactory when it comes to restoring business services - both internal and client facing.

To soften the blow of man-made disasters, many organizations turn to tape backup. But lessons from virtualization must be adhered to, i.e., it's easier, quicker and more cost-effective to let go of the tangible security blanket and embrace the dynamic and scalable concept of virtual or disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) methods. The elasticity and redundant nature of the cloud lends itself to an ideal disaster recovery solution without the physical impediments inherent within tape backup solutions. In fact, DRaaS "virtually" eliminates the following issues when using data backup tapes:

  1. Corruption and exposure of magnetic media
  2. Time to data restoration
  3. Theft (the human element to network disasters)
  4. Backup for the tape backups
  5. Costs (administration, storage and replacement)

Precedent has been set and cloud-based services have proven their value to all forms of businesses, both large and small. DRaaS is scalable, cost-effective and fast. When compared to tape-based methods, a cloud disaster-recovery solution is easier to set up and deploy, and much faster to utilize in the event of an actual disaster. Companies can be up and running within a matter of minutes versus days.

In addition, with DRaaS solutions, data is stored in high performance, scalable systems. Companies only pay for the resources they need and are able to better control their associated costs. The amount of storage a company needs can be easily scaled without having to upgrade any physical infrastructure components. Given these facts, the question is not whether disaster recovery will move to the cloud, but instead, whether IT personnel are ready to cut yet another IT umbilical cord.

Given the adoption and acceptance of virtualization as a standard by many companies, the data backup and recovery cord cutting should not be a difficult one - you don't need a Masters in Disasters to figure that one out. Many companies are already making the shift, and these services make it easier than ever to quickly replicate and restore an entire system. There are many benefits to using cloud disaster-recovery solutions, and there should no longer be skepticism holding back decisions.

Putting damage control and reputation tarnish aside, there are clear balance sheet-related benefits to using DRaaS. For starters, IT personnel will no longer be stuck in the perpetual doldrums of information lifecycle management (ILM). Upgrading storage devices, software and maintenance contracts every few years can be put in the same nostalgic memory bank as dial-up connectivity. A second balance sheet boon can be realized when the IT staff is removed from the routine backup procedures and free to develop more strategic business applications in pursuit of productivity and competitive advantage.

There is no doubt that cloud services have changed - and will continue to change - the business landscape. This is where the term "paradigm technology shift" used ad nauseam during the late 1990s/early 2000s actually applies. The cloud is a perfect conduit for disaster recovery services, the only problem it creates is what to do with all those magnetic backup tapes now. A plausible solution, stack them in the closet with your 8-Track, cassette and Betamax tapes.

More Stories By Brian Vandegrift

Brian Vandegrift is EVP of Sales and Innovation at Venyu, where he leads and manages the sales teams, which includes training, mentoring and coaching the company’s sales representatives. He has over 15 years of experience in technology consulting which enables him to play an integral role in the product development process for Venyu. With certifications from Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware, he has the expertise necessary to architect data protection, disaster recovery, and hosting solutions for just about every challenging scenario a business could face. Prior to joining Venyu, Brian worked for PPI in Baton Rouge, where he was the area General Manager responsible for sales and product delivery. He holds a BA in political science from Rhodes College.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...