The hand-on contingency plan that companies have in place in order to preempt any unforeseeable incident such as, internal/external threat, natural disaster etc., and ensure uninterrupted business activities is called business continuity plan. Since most businesses are digitalized it is mandatory for organizations that involves a high level of uptime to have robust disaster recovery (DR) mechanism to avoid downtime that causes not just financial damage but also inflict reputational harm.

The traditional modus oprandi to counter business disruption is having the production system turned into the DR system and ensure seeming continuity of business as usual. But the huge resources and cost of the deploying, managing, and maintaining these architectures renders them inadequate. Unless the organization have cloud integration that can cover nearly all of the business applications in standard cloud infrastructure with the exception of very few that might need hardware duplication.

You may think that business continuity demands more than smoothly run information system. For instance the office space or operational equipment, or even workforce but since there is no more analog processing, the major part of responsibility does come down to IT departments to effectively counter anything that threatens even business operations.

The cloud infrastructures like Microsoft Azure deliver unprecedented competencies to provide maximum availability, disaster resiliency, and IT operations business. The solution though lies in correct management and implementation and for that businesses everywhere need to have their IT service providers highly trained. Today, there are many different programs that provide cloud training online to bring the workforce up to the varying nature of increasing challenges.

Tips to ensure business continuity in the cloud

To ensure business continuity in the cloud there are few unconventional steps that organizations can test and inclusively implement.

Anticipate Failure through Pilot Runs

Preventing unforeseeable downtime in your organization is mostly reliant on integrating diversity directly into the disaster recovery as well as business continuity systems. The business systems need to be compatible with wide ranging infrastructures to be able to run smoothly on each whether it’s public or private clouds driven. The variety of options that the public clouds like Windows Azure services platform are providing to maintain business continuity has proffered the affordability like never before. For instance, the IT professional all but needs a laptop through which organizational servers can be launched in number of diverse locations around the world for at the bare minimum cost. Which results in having designed the kind of business system that is safely beyond any outage going on ground. However, this business system – cloud infrastructure - needs to have an underlying design which anticipates failure because there is no better way to test the strength of a system than to have it functional.  Netflix’s Chaos Monkey makes the perfect case in point that aimlessly disrupt running servers and services in order to test as well as ensure the continuity even without them.

The implementation of systems that are failure-resilient requires more than auto-save MO. It is not an easy task to swiftly shift ongoing operations from one infrastructure to another in times of raging crisis. It calls for a system that is designed to enable new compute resources to keep services operational along with an up-to-date user/customer data. Go through cloud computing certification that is designed to assist you and the team to develop highly resilient and multifunctional infrastructures and achieve your goals.

Cloud Redundancy & Automation

While there may not be any easy way to design and implement a failure resilient system, there is quite a general approach that has proven to be very feasible. It is through uniting design redundancy with cloud management automation. The approach it takes is structured in nature that breaks down a problem into small objects. Similarly, to have failure resilient system the step needs devising a solution based on failure resisting components of separate nodes, they can be anything from servers, storage capacities, or a whole data center.

Measure and design every component independently whether it is a web/app/data layer and keep in mind the realities of bandwidth rate, performance, data center infrastructure, cost etc. because resilient design solutions are equally varied as the utilized software components are. Take databases for example, they are usually consisted of various resilient features and approaches.

The real trick comes down to architectural operation in terms of determining system components that are capable of automatic response to failure from those that are not. Let’s say one of you cloud resources e.g., network switch, server, disk drive etc., malfunctions, how swiftly and smoothly can you introduce a substituting resources? The most optimal solution comes from automation, the more automated components are utilized in the designing of a system, the more operational continuation can be ensured.

The degree of automation we are discussing here needs system to have a design and configuration that can be quickly and easily replicate. For instance if your servers cannot be redeploy according to your predictive model in various cloud infrastructure, you have not yet architected a failure resilient system. These competent replicas are key to guaranteeing highest level of automation to the organizations in order to have critical flexibility in the face of crisis by auto launched servers in different cloud infrastructure in minutes.

Cloud Best Practices

The cloud management like that of MS Azure provides simplified methods of launching redeployments through it best practices that are also customizable. You cloud management solution should have centrally controlled dashboard that facilitates absolute visibility within the infrastructures. So it can be customized as per real time requirement such as capacity alterations on the basis of monitored performance. This automation and control over scalability through several servers provides organizations the mechanisms to allow migration to another infrastructure in times of disaster.

Conclusion

The Cloud architecture undisputedly delivers dispersed operational structures that are essential to effectively respond to any disasters. However, the companies particularly need work towards acquiring cloud management capabilities mandatory for spread and test their operations on number of different infrastructures to keep things operational and ready to withstand disasters. Join cloud computing bootcamp to learn cloud computing concepts.