This Hurricane Season, Secure Cloud Provider AIS Network Advises Businesses to Safeguard Data and Apps in the Cloud
Summary: High-compliance, secure cloud hosting provider AIS Network advises businesses to safeguard their data and mission-critical applications in the cloud during hurricane season. Data backup and disaster recovery in the cloud offers a more reliable, faster and more affordable solution than traditional methods.
McLean, VA — June 26, 2014 — The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association Climate Prediction Center’s forecast for the 2014 Hurricane Season seemed like favorable news after a winter that walloped much of the nation, however businesses should not underestimate the potential impact of summer natural disasters on their operations. AIS Network, a leading provider of high-compliance secure cloud hosting, advises businesses that information technology systems are especially vulnerable during severe summer weather and preventative measures should always include an IT disaster recovery plan.
“Business leaders and IT professionals need to plan carefully for unexpected summer storms,” said AISN CEO Jay Atkinson.
“Businesses need to put a business continuity plan in place, test and execute their disaster recovery strategies and also understand how cloud computing can help them recover their data and critical applications faster with minimal data loss. The cloud offers the most protection at the lowest cost,” he said.
AISN recommends creating and implementing a business continuity plan that documents how your business will stay in business following a severe summer storm or power outage. A continuity plan enables the business to restore its operations and communications systematically, while helping to minimize the risk of serious financial losses and a damaged reputation. Cloud-based disaster recovery provides an easy response to the disaster recovery plan question that haunts every business, he said.
“It is important for businesses to plan worst-case scenarios, developing a clear understanding of where the cloud fits in and how it can help save time, money and resources,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson added that aside from hurricanes, everyday occurrences, including hardware failures, security breaches and cut power lines, could also result in IT downtime and data loss. A fully managed, cloud-based approach to backup and disaster recovery enables organizations to protect more data, more frequently, and do so for a predictable monthly cost.
Additional benefits of a fully-managed, cloud-based approach include:
• the ability to replicate the entire infrastructure in a remote location
• rapid scaling based on changing conditions
• faster recovery times
• more frequent testing with support
• reduced backup storage costs little or no need to travel to the recovery site
• fewer operational hassles
• more control and less complexity
AISN has prepared a disaster recovery checklist to help businesses plan for unexpected downtime:
1. Identify the Risks. List and categorize threats associated with natural and man-made disasters and their impact on various systems.
2. Inventory IT Assets. Which are most critical to maintaining business continuity? What’s your tolerance for loss of those assets? The cost of the response should be balanced against your tolerance for system downtime.
3. Define Goals. If a disaster strikes, how long can your business shut down? Does it need to recover off-site? Define goals in terms of RPO (Recovery Point Objective, “How much data can we lose?”) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective, “How long can we be down?”).
4. Develop a Plan. Include “IT Assets Inventory,” data protection procedures and contingency plans, notification/activation schedules, a list of roles and responsibilities, a list of resource requirements and details about training provisions. A good plan includes maintenance and backup/recovery testing schedules – all delivered in time.
5. Understand the Cloud’s Benefits. Virtualization technologies make backup and disaster recovery vastly faster, cheaper and easier.
6. Implement the Plan. If executives understand the consequences of system disruptions, you can win their support and funding for contingency policies.
7. Test the Plan. Testing and keeping plans updated will help ensure business survival.
Cloud-based back-up and disaster recovery solutions together provide continuous data protection that takes frequent snapshots of the systems; backups always run 24/7/365. Should a summer storm strike, a cloud backup and recovery solution will allow the continuously backed up systems to be restored on virtual machines, providing extreme levels of reliability.
About AIS Network
AIS Network takes Virginia state and local government to the cloud. AISN is the high compliance, secure cloud hosting expert serving the Commonwealth of Virginia and large international enterprises in the health care, pharmaceutical, government and financial industries. When our clients’ highly regulated data, applications, payment portals and websites are simply too critical or complex to entrust to a commodity hosting provider, they call us for help. We engineer, customize and manage high-performance, secure cloud and disaster recovery solutions. Our clients never worry about whether their IT environment can pass a HIPAA, PCI, FISMA, SOX or other compliance audit, because we pass ours 100% of the time. We value highly giving our clients all of the personalized attention that they deserve, while also helping them to audit their infrastructure, reduce their IT compliance risk, avoid costly regulatory mistakes and lower costs for their business and their customers. AISN is a Virginia SWaM-certified small business (#697064). Visit aisn.net/virginia-egov.