In the 2014 Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey, three out of four companies were at risk of failing to prepare for disaster. The 2016 Disaster Recovery Survey done by California-based Zetta showed some improvement: two in five companies still don’t have a documented DR plan, and 40% test their DR plans only once a year. This guest blog from our partners at Matrix goes into details on 6 misconceptions on cloud disaster recovery.

Industry insiders fear that persisting misconceptions continue to hamper the adoption of cloud-based disaster recovery solutions. Some of the misconceptions are:

Misconception # 1 – Natural disasters are the only major causes of downtime.

Hurricanes, blizzards, floods, fires, wars, and large-scale hacking attacks don’t always happen, but man-made disasters occur more often and have equally devastating effects. These may include infecting computers with malware by accident, unintentionally deleting files, plugging or unplugging the wrong cable, or losing laptops and other devices. The Zetta survey confirms these claims with the following common causes of downtime:

  • 75% – Power outage
  • 52% – Hardware error
  • 35% – Human error
  • 34% – Virus/Malware attack
  • 20% – Natural disaster
  • 11% – Onsite disaster

Misconception # 2 – Backup of critical data and replication of servers is enough.

Backing up critical data is not a guarantee for business continuity if the infrastructure (including servers, applications, and databases, among others) that houses that data is not equally protected. Replicating servers is costly, time-consuming, not scalable, and not comprehensive. While an initial investment may be necessary for a cloud-based DR solution, monthly or pay-as-you-use billing results in cost savings in the long term.

Misconception # 3 – Downtime cost does not justify a DR investment.

Downtime brings business-critical operations and customer service to a halt, resulting in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses for businesses every day, as can be seen in these revealing figures from the Zetta survey:

  • 33% could lose up to $20,000
  • 40% could lose between $20,000 and $100,000
  • 19% could lose between $100,000 and $500,000
  • 8% could lose more than $500,000

Misconception # 4 – Disaster recovery in the cloud is not secure.

The cloud is indeed a repository of massive amounts of data that is an appealing target for hackers. Major breaches have happened in the recent past, but cloud service providers (CSPs) have greatly improved their security technology. This has raised confidence among users and even critics. Many industry experts agree that reputable CSPs now employ a high level of security that is often superior to in-house security systems at a lesser cost.

Misconception # 5 – Disaster recovery is only for large enterprises.

For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), traditional secondary DR sites are expensive and difficult to manage. With their enormous resources, large enterprises can go cloud-based or in-house or both for their DR needs. Cloud-based solutions offer SMBs a quickly recoverable data center that helps cut costs dramatically and ensures business continuity.

Misconception # 6 – Disaster recovery is an IT responsibility.

A DR strategy should involve the business as a whole. In the automated world, DR encompasses the technology department because when IT operations are down, everything else is down. A DR plan, thus, needs the awareness and approval of senior management to ensure the business can weather any disaster for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Disasters are expensive. There is wisdom in exploring what the cloud offers for disaster recovery to ensure business continuity.