With the increasing trend of organisations thinking of or currently migrating critical production workloads to the cloud whether it’s a hybrid or public provider model it is still important to look at your data protection, there are the obvious advantages and benefits over the private cloud model and these have been documented numerous times and there is no need to go into detail about them again, but just to refresh a cloud should provide infrastructure, environmental, human resource and software licensing savings; this in turn allows the business to focus strategically on core business services.

The advantages are clear but what other critical requirements are there? Does disaster recovery, business continuity, backup and archiving compliance ring a bell? It is important when an organisation is in the process of choosing a cloud provider that along with providing robust IaaS SLAs that the provider can also provide data protection SLAs.

Has the provider had previous disaster recovery experience? Can it provide your organisation with a clear path during a disaster? Does the provider in fact provide backup, archiving and restore functionality at all? Who maintains the backup, archive and disaster recovery? Is the disaster recovery tested? Cloud providers located at Tier 3 data centres provide numerous N+1 redundancy features but the fact remains there have been two Tier 1 vendor outages in the last 6 months that affected hundreds of customers. So whether you organisation is looking or currently moving towards either a public or hybrid cloud strategy ask the provider about data protection, your data is your business.