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Disaster recovery can be an effective way to ease into the cloud

Operating in the cloud is soon going to be a reality for many businesses whether they like it or not. Points of contention with this shift often arise from unfamiliarity with cloud operations.
Jeff Ton Contributor Jeff Ton is the founder of Ton Enterprises and strategic IT adviser to InterVision, a leading strategic service provider and premier consulting partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN).

Operating in the cloud is soon going to be a reality for many businesses whether they like it or not. Points of contention with this shift often arise from unfamiliarity and discomfort with cloud operations. However, cloud migrations don’t have to be a full lift and shift.

Instead, leaders unfamiliar with the cloud should start by moving over their disaster recovery program to the cloud, which helps to gain familiarity and understanding before a full migration of production workloads.

What is DRaaS?

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is cloud-based disaster recovery delivered as a service to organizations in a self-service, partially managed or fully managed service model. The agility of DR in the cloud affords businesses a geographically diverse location to failover operations and run as close to normal as possible following a disruptive event. DRaaS emphasizes speed of recovery so that this failover is as seamless as possible. Plus, technology teams can offload some of the more burdensome aspects of maintaining and testing their disaster recovery.

When it comes to disaster recovery testing, allow for extra time to let your IT staff learn the ins and outs of the cloud environment.

DRaaS is a perfect candidate for a first step into the cloud for five main reasons:

  • Using DRaaS helps leaders get accustomed to the ins and outs of cloud before conducting a full production shift.
  • Testing cycles of the DRaaS solution allows IT teams to see firsthand how their applications will operate in a cloud environment, enabling them to identify the applications that will need a full or partial refactor before migrating to the cloud.
  • With DRaaS, technology leaders can demonstrate an early win in the cloud without risking full production.
  • DRaaS success helps gain full buy-in from stakeholders, board members and executives.
  • The replication tools that DRaaS uses are sometimes the same tools used to migrate workloads for production environments — this helps the technology team practice their cloud migration strategy.
Steps to start your DRaaS journey to the cloudDefine your strategy

Do your research to determine if DRaaS is right for you given your long-term organizational goals. You don’t want to start down a path to one cloud environment if that cloud isn’t aligned with your company’s objectives, both for the short and long term. Having cross-functional conversations among business units and with company executives will assist in defining and iterating your strategy.

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