Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard by now that cloud computing is the next big thing. There’s even a big bookstore that talks about it a lot, and about how they invented it. You might have even seen a TV advertisement or two talking about cloud computing. But what is it, and can this affect or better yet improve disaster recovery also?

We should probably begin with what exactly cloud computing is. Some might say that when you look up a definition of cloud computing you’d find this – buzzword. But there actually are some well accepted characteristics that define what is and is not a cloud of computers.

How I know my datacenter is ready to rain:
1. Shared infrastructure (or, plays well with others)
2. Rapid elasticity
3. On-demand/self service resource acquisition model
4. Per use billing
5. Standard internet protocols
6. Measurable

If you think about this, disaster recovery is one of the most natural use cases for this type of resource consumption model. Disaster recovery is all about the unknown. Not knowing when you might need extra resources, or how much resource for how long. The on demand elastic model of cloud computing is perfect for those rather “cloudy” requirements, don’t you think?
But how do you get there? Well before going out and signing any contracts, most agree that the first stepping stone is virtualization. Virtualization after all is the key underlying technology that allows this cloud delivery model to be a reality.

So if you do have any aspirations for a cloudy disaster recovery future, then the first step to take today is to virtualize as many of the pieces that make up your disaster recovery plan and infrastructure today.

I explore the challenges of designing an effective disaster recovery plan for the modern multi-platform data center in a webcast next month:The Changing Face of Disaster Recovery – Disaster Recovery and the Cloud. It’s the third of a four part series on disaster recovery.

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By: jasondea
Aug 31, 2011
7:04 am