Is your Business ready for Disasters?

sun stormDid you know that the biggest and strongest solar storm since December 2006 is now hitting our planet’s magnetic fields? As reported by MSNBC, the wave of plasma and eruption of materials toward the earth – called coronal mass ejection (CME) – will cause disruptions to satellites, power grids and communication networks; the disruptions will last for 24 hours or so. So, here’s a question for you: Will your business be impacted by the disruptions?

If your answer to the above question is “likely, yes,” then there is one more reason why you need to seriously consider cloud computing adoption to support you in business continuity and disaster recovery. Indeed, bringing your business to the cloud will offer you a chance to secure your sensitive data, as well as critical business functions.

How to use the cloud to support your business continuity?

There are many cloud providers offering you the capabilities to backup your data, as well as storing them redundantly, in such a way that when things go wrong with a data center, your data is safe and sound in other data centers. That being said, it’s important for you to partner with cloud vendors who offer always-available access to your data.

You might want to also consider moving your business functions and operations to the cloud. Backing up your data, collaborating with your team member, and working on your business finances online are some of the business activities you can do in the cloud.

Sounds great to me. However, you need to do your due diligence…

Cloud compatibility issues and options

Sooner or later, you will somehow need to think about how to interconnect a cloud service with another, as failing to do so – in itself – will disrupt your business operations. Your job is to ensure that the cloud services you sign up with will be compatible with each other. Some cloud service vendors are compatible with many other cloud vendors, but some just can’t go hand-in-hand with other cloud services. So, be sure you pursue the flexibility and connectivity of the cloud vendors.

Alternatively, with that being said, you might want to consider using a cloud solution instead of standalone cloud services. For example, Google Apps for Business and Microsoft Office 365 are each a complete solution, allowing you to access many functions that are required for you to run your business smoothly.

You might want to connect your solutions with third party cloud vendors – so, it’s a good thing to ensure which can work with whom – i.e. Google Docs can sync with Dropbox (online file storage and sharing,) and so on.

Public, private or hybrid clouds?

I am a big fan of hybrid cloud, especially in its ability in interconnecting different type of clouds into one, big cloud that are hosted both on-site and in the cloud. Although hybrid cloud is not as flexible in-house apps, but it is more secure and highly scalable – with minimal IT infrastructure investment requirements.

Let’s take Zynga, the social game company, for example. Zynga adopts hybrid cloud strategy, hosted most of their operations in their private cloud (zCloud) while having the public cloud (AWS) acts as a backup system – just in case there are surges of demands or issues occurring with their private cloud.

Is your business ready for disasters?

So, are you ready for tornado, storms and other disasters? Do you have a backup for your business? Do you have a plan B, C or D? If not, you need to sit down and start planning for disasters. Why? Because, whether you like it or not, disasters will somehow happen. What brings different end results is your ability to respond to changes accordingly, and this is how the cloud can help you.

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