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Agile IT organizations respond to business needs in a flexible, efficient manner. Agility is key to bringing products to market faster and remaining viable in a competitive market. For many companies, agility is a primary driver for moving to the cloud. But being agile extends beyond the requests that come in the normal course of business. It is just as important to be agile in data recovery or disaster scenarios. Unfortunately, too many IT organizations aren’t
thinking about agility beyond the day-to-day.

According to IDC, the average cost of downtime is about $100,000 per hour. The analyst firm also estimates that, even without a disaster scenario, organizations experience between 10 and 20 hours of unplanned downtime per year. At that cost, it is absolutely critical that IT organizations be able to restore data in a flexible and efficient manner. Yet, IDC estimates that 50% of organizations have inadequate DR plans and might not survive a significant
disaster because of the inability to recover IT systems.

In some ways, the cloud has made data storage and recovery more affordable and, therefore, accessible to companies of all sizes. But a cloud storage platform in-and-of itself does not necessarily enable agile recovery efforts. Scripts must be written and manual administration and intervention are necessary to make data readily recoverable. Most of the time IT organizations simply use cloud storage as an inexpensive, off-site storage target without any thought to how that data will be recovered.

The nature of today’s IT environments complicates data protection and recovery efforts. Increasingly, IT organizations are adopting external cloud services and integrating those with their private, on-premises environment to create a hybrid cloud. In a true hybrid cloud, data can move between the on-premise data center/private cloud and third-party private and public clouds, all without manual intervention. Protecting data as it moves between these heterogeneous environments is challenging enough, never mind recovering it in a timely manner.


The answer to achieving agile data protection and recovery operations lies in the cloud, but there’s more to it than using the cloud as an off-site storage target. The following five requirements are necessary to ensure agile data protection and recovery in the cloud:

1 First and foremost, the recovery process must be automated from end-to-end. In day-to-day operations, previously manual tasks are automated in the cloud. Disaster recovery operations require automation as well.
2 The solution must be integrated across the organization’s entire IT environment. This helps ensure that all workloads are recoverable, whether they are on-premises, or in a public or private cloud.
3 The entire environment must be managed via a single platform. In addition to simplifying data protection and recovery efforts, a single platform prevents the creation of silos of data that must be separately managed and are therefore at increased risk of exposure.
4 A variety of technologies must be available for moving data offsite. This ensures that IT organizations can maintain application SLAs, while minimizing the cost, risk and complexity of backing up data.
5 Finally, the solution must be vendor-agnostic. This enables IT organizations to retain the ability to move data between on-premise and cloud repositories, as well as the freedom to change service providers as needed.