Cloud Computing Architecture and the Simplicity of DRaaS

by Mar 28, 2014Business Continuity, Cloud & Hosting

Understanding Cloud Computing Architecture May Save You Headaches & Costs

When designing a business continuity or disaster recovery plan, cloud storage should be the first priority on a company’s list. Cloud storage offers a level of data protection that cannot be matched by other services. Even in the case of a disaster, businesses can be sure that their information is secured and waiting to be accessed.

Yet from the perspective of an IT team, cloud computing architecture may be the service’s greatest benefit. Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) saves businesses the trouble of purchasing expensive hardware and creating their own off-site data center.

recent Information Week article discusses the benefits of SaaS and DRaaS. The article explains that switching disaster recovery to the cloud can be a lot less costly and troublesome than building an off-site data center:

“From IT’s perspective, automating the disaster recovery process and turning it into a service simplifies testing and validation and allows for easier setup of multiple failover snapshots for different system and application configurations. Furthermore, moving DR to the cloud means there’s no redundant infrastructure that you build and maintain but that sits idle most of the time, and few software images to keep patched and updated.”

When it comes to cloud computing architecture and building an off-site data center, businesses have to build and maintain redundant infrastructure. This isn’t a simple task and it’s certainly not an option for small businesses on a budget. It requires a large upfront investment and an IT team to constantly monitor and maintain the servers.

Although a discussion about cloud computing architecture can quickly become too technical, it can be broken down for businesses so that it’s easily understood. Cloud computing architecture is ultimately divided into two parts: front end and back end. The practical way to remember these parts is that businesses typically work with the front end while cloud computing service providers work with the back end.

The front end includes the client’s computer and application which allows them to connect with the system. Such applications could include web browsers or email programs.

The back end is comprised of various computers, servers, and systems dedicated to data storage. Each application typically has its own dedicated server while a central server is dedicated to the system. Through the process server virtualization, the output of each individual server is maximized and the need for extra hardware is reduced. A separate but equally important process is redundancy, which refers to data backup and the creation of data copies. The central server follows protocols and utilizes middleware, which allows computers on the network to communicate with each other.

On the other hand, consider how much simpler it is to move disaster recovery to the cloud. Businesses simply need to seek out and select the cloud storage service provider that best fits their needs and then work with the service provider to move their data to the cloud.

The servers and your data are then maintained by the service provider, rather than your IT staff. This cost is included in the price, and business will save money from the lack of IT expenses.

If you would like more information about cloud computing architecture, contact us.

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Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.

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