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Where the cloud fits in your data protection scheme in 2015

Where does the cloud best fit into data protection, archiving, DR or backup?

I think that the cloud really plays a good and strong role in disaster recovery. It's ideal as a data protection scheme because you get a secondary site, it's generally several disaster zones away, and it really is generally made for that effort.

But, the bigger question asked is: "OK, if I used it for disaster recovery, how do I get my data back?"

Some cloud providers have come up with this feature called DR as a service (DRaaS). Now users don't have to transfer all my data back to start a recovery -- you can start the virtual machines in the cloud. However, when you switch from cloud storage to cloud compute and you are running applications in the cloud, it's really important to understand what the compute SLA is going to be. You need to find out if your cloud provider will be able to allocate the compute resources to run the applications you need. If the provider cannot provide adequate compute resources so apps can run at your desired performance level, DRaaS may not be right for you. Or you may need to go with a different cloud service provider.

How common is cloud-to-cloud backup becoming as a data protection scheme?

Well, I don't think it's becoming common enough quickly enough given the pace at which people are moving certain applications to the cloud. Many cloud-based applications perform backups to protect themselves, not necessarily to protect you. So, say someone deletes a bunch of data or whatever and you need to roll it back to a point in time before the event occurred, the cloud provider can provide that, but it generally is pretty darn expensive.

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