Data is a crucial resource to businesses, governments and individuals. The necessity to manage, store, protect and recover that data is an integral part of any entity's continuity strategy. In most instances, this data may comprise company records, media files, and encrypted data and so on. This aspect of business data storage and management usually comes under threat when data gets lost, stolen, compromised or destroyed.
One emerging technology for storing, managing and protecting data that has been growing in use in recent times is cloud computing. This is a new technology in which hundreds of server networks are interlinked worldwide to create one super computer or cloud in which people around the globe can upload and run their applications. Cloud computing continues to make progress with companies such a Google and Microsoft championing the cause. This is in addition to the increasing need for more computer resources at cheaper costs.
This concept has emerged as a new frontier for data storage and management. Due to the decentralized nature of the cloud and multiple copies of data replicated on different servers across the globe, this method of storing and managing data is fast catching on. The cloud utilizes the mirror effect common in most online data backup systems. Mirroring involves the updating of multiple servers whenever the parent or main server is updated and this happens in real time. This creates a perfect scenario for data storage, management and disaster recovery testing.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud data storage and management has yielded a number of advantages so far. Storage space is one such advantage. Cloud computing provides virtually unlimited storage. The mirror effect is another advantage of storing data in the cloud as it makes data disaster recovery easy. It also incurs reduced costs as no dedicated servers are used. In addition, numerous database management applications can be uploaded and configured. Mobility is also a key advantage as the cloud is easy accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
A few disadvantages have cropped up during disaster recovery testing carried out on various scenarios. One such disadvantage is the security of the data. Storing data in a cloud means the data is, in theory, accessible to anyone. Another disadvantage is in the event of some form of calamity, data disaster recovery would be difficult due to the decentralized nature of the server networks. Other issues such as bandwidth requirements, limited features and accountability have also been linked to cloud computing.
Disaster recovery solutions should be a part of any savvy business's IT program, in the event that there is a crippling data disaster.