There is no escaping the importance of cloud computing to the technology of the future. We’ve discussed at length the many benefits that businesses stand to gain by migrating to the cloud and using the full power of cloud computing solutions provided by different providers of cloud services. The substantial cost savings over time, ease of scalability, flexibility, and freeing up an enterprise’s resources to focus on business-critical operations instead of upkeep of on-site IT infrastructure and legacy systems are some of the most widely discussed advantages of the cloud. But in addition to these big four is another, equally critical but not quite as highlighted benefit — easy, instantaneous, seamless, and cost-effective disaster recovery.

Disaster recovery is a security measure to ensure that all of an organisation’s business-critical IT assets — such as application and data — are periodically backed up and stored, ready to be uploaded on a virtual host, in case data is compromised due to hacking, system failures, or even natural calamities. Due to the cloud’s inherently flexible nature and round-the-clock availability, the entire server can be backed up in a matter of minutes, ensuring that the business suffers minimum or no interruption of service. In contrast, traditional systems that rely on on-premise hardware and servers to store data typically spend hours in transferring backed-up files, which can lead to huge losses for the business.

With more and more businesses depending on data to make decisions about future service offerings, ensuring the security and integrity of their data is an important concern. Naturally, then, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) within the cloud is the need of the hour.

A robust DRaaS strategy would entail cloud service provider providing solutions that can be tailored to a business’ specific recovery needs. These considerations typically include an enterprise’s ability to pre-define or change the intervals at which data is duplicated and backed-up; a plan for testing the backed up data and the new environment it is hosted on in a non-obtrusive manner, without disrupting business activities; and the automation of repetitive activities both before and in the event of a failure.

Microsoft’s Azure Site Recovery (ASR) offers comprehensive solutions for disaster recovery during site failures due in scenarios as wide-ranging as unexpected outages, data corruption, and human errors. Additionally, ARS can also ensure that a business’ physical on-premise workloads as well as virtual workloads are protected by automating the back-up of all of the business’ machines. The business has complete control over backup protocols. Once the business has defined its parameters and use-case scenarios, the ASR system automatically duplicates the data at every pre-determined interval. The duplicated data is stored within the secure and instantly available Azure cloud that allows for unlimited free data transfers for the purpose of backing up and restoring data. And finally, ARS ensures that the backed-up data is compatible with the original application, ensuring successful failback once the restoration process is complete. ASR also gives businesses the ability to simulate a failover to test its data and site recovery protocol during an actual disaster.

To sum up, at a time when data is critical to an enterprise’s success, protecting it is of utmost importance. At the same time, disaster recovery can be a complex undertaking, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. ASR takes into account the nature of the business and provides a cost-effective, customisable, accurate, and automated data recovery plans for cloud computing applications with minimal downtime.