As technology becomes more prevalent in business and companies increasingly rely on massive amounts of data to complete work, the need for a secure backup service and disaster recovery plan is more necessary than ever. In a recent webinar sponsored by Microsoft, Forrester analyst Noel Yuhanna recommended that enterprises strategically implement public cloud services for disaster recovery to ensure business continuity.

According to Yuhanna, more than 70 percent of enterprises currently have to manage at least two terabytes of data, but at the rate new information is being created that could become petabytes in just a few years. In the webinar, Yuhanna praised the cloud for its ability to automate the data backup process and include encryption while not requiring staff to manage the day-to-day operations of the servers and storage platform.

Forrester recently conducted a survey of more than 200 database backup and operations professionals on three continents and found that 15 percent of companies are currently utilizing the cloud for database backups. This number has doubled in the last year, according to Yuhanna. The report also found that users were driven to the cloud for backup and disaster recovery services due to the need for constant application availability, cost savings and organizational agility.

Cloud offers multiple DR benefits
The cloud is ideally suited for disaster recovery because it is able to replicate data that resides in a physical location without having to create a redundant facility to house it. It is also a cost-effective option, as backups and archived data often sit unused for years at a time with few updates and don’t need to be stored in an expensive physical facility. The cloud therefore creates a dual benefit of storing information in a cost-effective environment that is also offsite in case of a disaster.

The Forrester survey also discovered that the key reasons companies utilized the cloud for backup and disaster recovery services were the ability to save money on data storage and administrative costs and provide more frequent backups.

“You could almost be guaranteed that if you decide to put some data in the cloud that, whether it’s an archive or backup, the next year it’s going to be cheaper to store it there,” explained Forrester principal analyst Dave Bartoletti.

Finally, the report found that 57 percent of respondents reported the use of cloud backup and disaster recovery services actually helped to improve their company’s service level agreements, as processes and systems become more reliable with the cloud.