Making the Cloud Part of Database Disaster Recovery

Making the Cloud Part of Database Disaster Recovery

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Sarojini Devi Nagappan
16 July 2020

 

Cloud disaster recovery is an approach to combine on-premises and cloud storage to backup data and applications. This planning comes in useful for restoration during any downtime. Disaster recovery is crucial for business continuity and having redundant storage or implementation sites has always been in practice which gave protection for any physical disaster such as flood, fire, etc.

Cloud storage brought in another perspective for disaster recovery. It not only gave the idea for additional storage but emphasized on the concept of high availability and scalability with minimal effort in implementation.

Disaster Recovery (DR) Approach

It is important to understand the disaster recovery (DR) approaches, the organisation's resources, and workloads prior to deciding on a suitable DR approach. A low priority workload can always work on a cold DR, and a mission-critical application may require either a warm or hot DR; therefore you may have a mix of these approaches for the best disaster recovery planning. The cloud provider to support DR can be decided once the DR approach is confirmed.

Cold Disaster Recovery

The approach for cold disaster recovery is to store data or virtual machine images with little or no hardware setup. It is simple and cost-effective. However, restoration takes a long time because it requires extra applications or downloads to set it up all over again. Hence you will be left with long downtime. This is definitely not good for your business. 

Warm Disaster Recovery

Warm disaster recovery is to have a duplicate setup of updated applications or data on the cloud. There is no processing happening, but the data is always kept up to date as its primary data center. The recovery time is much shorter. With this approach, you just need to connect to the application or data on the cloud to resume operation. There will be some delay if there are applications configured for different access levels.

Hot Disaster Recovery

In the hot disaster recovery approach, both the primary data center and disaster recovery site work in tandem where the application and data synchronization happens concurrently. As such, in case of disaster strikes, the data recovery site will continue to support the operation seamlessly with very minimal downtime.

Cloud Disaster Recovery

Business continuity requires a good disaster recovery strategy because it ensures high availability and minimal downtime for any business operations. With cloud included in the disaster recovery strategy, the operations will not halt in case of any natural catastrophes, data theft, cybersecurity attacks instead it will resume operations seamlessly with its mirror image on the cloud. Following are some of the benefits of having cloud disaster recovery as part of your disaster risk mitigation plan:

  • Replicate your services on cloud effortlessly, all you need is the right cloud provider to do it
  • Save on additional hardware and maintenance costs
  • Choose a cloud provider who is platform-independent to avoid any vendor lock-in situation
  • Flexible and scalable to support growing data and workloads
  • Multiple data centers across the globe for geo-redundancy. Cloud providers use these centers for redundancy and maximising availability

Database Disaster Recovery

Databases are important to all applications, especially mission-critical applications like the eCommerce platform. It holds huge amounts of data, handles transaction queries, and data loss definitely leads to financial loss. You may be able to restore your application, but without an updated database backup, resuming operations will definitely be delayed. Like other data and applications, database backup should be an important part of the disaster recovery strategy. A good database disaster recovery needs a good backup and storage solution. There are several leading providers like AWS, Google, and Azure, which gives you cloud storage, backup, and recovery as well as other management tools, but it does cost a little higher. Another option to consider is to have a tool or service for database backup coupled with a cloud provider for storage which can handle the backups for disaster recovery purposes. 

Database Backup as a Service

There are many cloud providers offering backup services for your entire infrastructure and a few vendors offering specifically database backup services. It is important for the database backup service to do continuous and incremental real-time backups for databases automatically. Also, keep in mind the security and encryption used for data in transit and data at rest if the storage is offered as part of the service. A good backup as a service provider will be able to provide at least the following features which are useful for disaster recovery:

  • Support for multiple databases
  • Easy to use interface to manage the database backups
  • A good dashboard to provide an overall view of the backups
  • Security with the right encryption for data in transit and at rest
  • Ability to backup to local and cloud storages
  • Alerts and notifications to know if anything goes wrong with the backup

Veeam, Backup Ninja, Solarwinds are some examples of vendors offering database backup services with attractive pricing plans and would make a great component in disaster recovery planning.

Database Backup As a Service by Backup Ninja

If you are working with open-source database technologies like MySQL, PostgreSQL, TimescaleDB, Percona, MongoDB, and MariaDB and looking into database backup as part of your disaster recovery planning, then Backup Ninja is a good tool for you to consider. Backup Ninja has a simple web interface to configure a backup agent for your database server and schedule backups with just a few clicks on your local drive or cloud providers automatically. It comes with a great dashboard to give you an overview of what's happening with your backups and alerts you if there are any problems with your backups. 

Database Backup As a Service by Backup Ninja

You might already have cloud storage but require a tool to manage your databases and work with the cloud provider without further customisation. If your cloud provider offers S3 compliant storage, then all you need is to have the cloud credentials and the access keys for Backup Ninja to store your database backups automatically without any complicated backup scripting.

Database Backup As a Service by Backup Ninja

With database backup services offered by Backup Ninja, your cloud disaster recovery strategy would definitely be a complete one with guaranteed maximum high availability services. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, cloud services should be a part of your disaster recovery strategy. It offers you a venue to host your mission-critical application and backups for easier recovery in case disaster strikes. If you are running a data-intensive application, then you should consider having services to backup your databases in an automated way. This should be included as part of your cloud disaster recovery methodology. Besides this, when choosing a cloud provider or services to be a part of your disaster recovery architecture, pay attention to the pricing plans, security, and also avoid vendor lock-in situations at any cost.