How the Cloud Mixes Up Everything and the Impact on Disaster Recovery

Despite some claims that that data storage and data recovery are set to become two separate items in computing cloud land, at the moment it’s all in there together: data, the applications that handle that data and the infrastructure that needs to be managed in consequence. IT disaster recovery plans involving cloud now have to deal with new concerns: synchronisation of data records; data privacy; and data availability. With the massive computing power in the cloud and the possibility to replicate computing systems here, there and everywhere, will we now suffer from too much of a good thing?

The abundance of power doesn’t solve the problem of making data available in the places where it’s needed it. Sure, if an instance of a computer system crashes, then a copy of that computer system in the cloud can take over. What it can’t necessarily take over are the data access rights such as the specific system identity that authorises reading or modifying the data. Even if security is not the problem, data integrity remains a challenge that grows as the number of copies of that data increases. Data backups running on application backups that come online only after the original application was supposed to have done its work are all part of the problem.

These problems of handling data as it moves from one computing point to another and the way backup systems can integrate into the environment for efficient disaster recovery are among the items being thought out for new standards. At a commercial level, the tools coming onto the market are the platform orchestration systems that address these issues, with enterprises like HP, Cisco, Cordys and Citrix all active in 2012 with different offerings including cloud-based configurations.