Cloud BC/DR: 4 Questions to Gain Executive Buy-In

Business Continuity

By Marc Goroff, Co-Founder and CTO, Quorum

It’s no longer enough to sell customer IT teams on the concept of moving services to the cloud, and then spinning up your preferred solution. IT leaders are doing online research before bringing you into the buying journey, and they are involving more line-of-business people in the decision-making process.

Or, in some cases, LOB leaders are involving themselves.

The good news for partners selling or consulting on BC/DR is that customers with legacy business-continuity and disaster-recovery plans and systems are likely facing challenges. Maybe it’s speed. Maybe it’s security. Maybe the system isn’t growing along with the organization.

When customers have other workloads in the cloud, virtualizing their BC/DR is an easier sell. They get the appeal of benefits like scalability, easier testing, and often, cost savings.They know cloud backups can protect data, servers, endpoints and applications. However, cloud-shy CIOs and IT managers may question whether moving BC/DR to the cloud in an as-a-service model is a good idea for their companies.

Here are four questions to focus the conversation.

How long are you willing to be down? In the era of 24/7 uptime, even 20 minutes of downtime can alienate end customers. Complex failover processes hinder recovery. When physical backups can’t be retrieved quickly, that 20-minute delay can be much longer. If uptime depends on the availability of trained staff or a shipment of backup tapes, mission-critical systems won’t be available when needed.

A major value proposition for moving to the cloud should be the capability to boot up a clone of the environment in minutes. This eliminates the need to ship or retrieve physical backups. Some cloud solutions also feature simple failover processes, allowing the IT team to recover instantly and enable employees to work from anywhere instead of reading complicated instructions as crucial minutes tick away.

Do you have the right connectivity? While cloud solutions can accelerate recovery, they can also hinder it in some situations, as when there is inadequate connectivity. Before advising that customers make the jump to a cloud-only solution, consider these possible delay factors:

  • Network speeds: Applications that rely on 100MB, 1GB or more for connectivity will be challenged to match this to and from a cloud backup provider.
  • Network connectivity: You’ll need to provide a path for external users, customers and production sites to the cloud backup provider, bridging the IP gap between what was once the on-premises LAN and now is a site in another data center.
  • Single-server failure dependency: When you put backups entirely in the cloud, failing over a single or small subset of servers to the cloud can break dependencies. Imagine running a small cluster with two out of three servers on the same LAN with 1GB+ speeds and the third member of the cluster sitting on a remote WAN link getting fair lower access speeds.

How will available bandwidth affect retrieval speeds? Getting customer data into the cloud is easy — just identify …

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