What is Cloud Mirroring and Why Does It Matter?
Posted by Guest Author on October 10, 2013 in Business Technology [ 0 Comments ]
Many businesses have already discovered the advantages of utilizing the cloud for their data storage, emergency backup, and recovery needs. Cloud storage allows you to access your data from the office, at home, or on the road, and ensures that all your important files remain protected in the event of a fire, flood, or other disaster. However, some people may be uneasy using cloud storage as their primary data storage and backup method. Despite its security and reliability, using the cloud means putting your data in someone else’s hands and trusting that it will be available when you need it. This matter of trust was the impetus for the development of cloud mirroring, a service that goes a long way toward easing the concerns of skeptical customers.
What is Cloud Mirroring?
When you upload your data to the cloud, a copy of it is stored remotely in the network of servers used by the cloud. Cloud mirroring allows you to make a copy of all of your data and store it on a secondary cloud, offering you a vital element of redundancy in the unlikely event that an outage or failure occurs within the primary cloud. Some cloud providers offer an internally managed redundant cloud for your data mirroring needs, and other providers allow you to mirror your data to other, external clouds. Cloud mirroring helps you dilute your data’s vulnerability for loss with multiple backups; it may be very unlikely that your primary cloud provider will suffer a loss of service, outage, or catastrophe, but it is substantially less likely that multiple clouds will experience simultaneous losses.
The rationale behind cloud mirroring is similar to that of any redundant security measure – you lock your car doors when you leave your vehicle, which is probably sufficient to protect your car most of the time, but an electronic security system provides an additional layer of protection. Leaving your car in a secure parking garage is safer still. Cloud mirroring offers you the data storage equivalent of multiple layers of preventive measures, helping to guarantee that your data will be there when you need it.
How Can Cloud Mirroring Benefit Your Company?
Some of the greatest advantages of cloud mirroring include the greater degree of control and reliability it offers. Before signing on with any cloud storage provider, you likely vet them carefully to ensure that the provider’s service meets your standards on a number of criteria, including reliable access and a lack of service interruptions. However, catastrophic disruptions can be impossible to predict. A natural disaster or other problem halfway across the country might interfere with your ability to access your files if the servers that power your storage provider’s cloud are affected. When you choose to mirror your data onto a secondary cloud, availability of your data is not dependent on a single set of servers, or even a single provider.
Of course, many companies have the technological resources to mirror their data on their own internal servers. However, this requires server space and IT department work-hours that could be spent on other projects. Eliminating these expenses is a large part of the reason that so many companies choose cloud storage solutions for their data needs in the first place. Cloud mirroring allows your company to have multiple copies of your data stored securely and remotely on a number of different clouds, making your data accessible regardless of the status of any single cloud storage provider. The odds of all the clouds on which your data is stored experiencing simultaneous outages are remote, meaning you can trust that your data will always be there.
Points to Consider with Cloud Mirroring
If you choose a cloud mirroring option that allows you to mirror your data on different systems run by separate companies, it’s important to perform due diligence on each provider. Mirroring on multiple clouds keeps your data available, but it also means there are more servers that need to be protected from hackers and even government intelligence agencies. Security needs become even more demanding if your data includes client financial information, medical records, or other sensitive details that are subject to security regulations. Many cloud storage providers offer first-rate data security and encryption measures, but it’s worth taking the time to find out how your data will be protected when choosing mirrors.
(image via freedigitalphotos.net)
Timothy Wightman is CEO/President of Effective Data (http://www.effective-data.com/) in Schaumburg, IL. Effective Data is a worldwide leader in EDI consulting and data integration. Connect with Effective Data on Facebook and LinkedIn.