Debunking 7 Myths About AWS Cloud Backup And Disaster Recovery

AWS Cloud Computing is now the hottest and coolest approach to managing IT infrastructure. From ‘on-demand’ application as services to grand re-engineering the enterprise data center, AWS is being adopted by enterprises in a wide range of use cases. Some of these use cases include AWS cloud backup and disaster recovery.

Much has been said and written about AWS cloud backup and disaster recovery. However, it is not well understood by the decision makers who have to finance or implement it. Setting up a cloud backup and disaster recovery plan using in-house resources can be daunting, costly as well as time-consuming. For that reason, many organizations have been looking at cloud, especially AWS.

Even though many enterprises ranging from Fortune 500 to SMBs have embraced AWS, there are still few misconceptions looming among the enterprises when it comes to AWS cloud backup and disaster recovery.

The Backdrop: Cloud as a Backup and DR Platform

The availability of business systems and applications to clients and customers are critical. And any downtime is  risky for an enterprise’s business. The cloud technology, albeit becoming a norm among IT teams across verticals, it is yet to be completely embraced. And the primary reason points to IT departments’ getting paralyzed by misconceptions or myths that revolve around cloud backup and disaster recovery.

By falling prey to these misconceptions, many businesses are missing the opportunity to leverage the safe, secure and affordable Cloud backup Solutions and miss out on its many benefits. Here’re top seven myths around AWS cloud backup and disaster recovery that enterprises need to be aware of and take corrective measures accordingly:

Myth 1. AWS cloud backup is not secure

There is a deep rooted fear, uncertainty, and doubt when it comes to security of the data residing in the cloud due to AWS’ shared responsibility model.  The primary reason being: the responsibility for anything provisioned on AWS and the apps that run on top of that must be taken care by the user.

The reality is that AWS provides stronger control mechanisms so that users can have better control on their backed up data. Above all, AWS takes responsibility of the facilities, physical security of hardware and virtualization infrastructure.

Bill Murray, senior manager of security programs at AWS, once said in a statement, “The idea that cloud is less secure comes from a perceived loss of control. However with AWS you actually gain more control over your data than you have in your own on-premises environment.”

By leveraging AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) service, users can manage access to their data by defining what users and services, can access the backed up data resources. Enterprises can also leverage AWS Direct Connect, which provides a dedicated private network connection for secured, private, and dedicated access between your facilities and the AWS Cloud.

Myth 2. AWS is only for storage and does not provide backup and disaster management

That’s not true! AWS cloud is not limited to just the storage. AWS definitely features an amazing set of storage services, with S3 being the most popular, however, it is not limited to just that. AWS also provides pure backup only solutions like AWS Glacier. In addition, AWS offers Storage Gateway for advanced backup functionalities, which were earlier offered by specialized Tape based Backup Solution vendors.

Enterprises still utilizing the age old legacy systems have not explored the complete feature set of AWS and are under the misconception that AWS is just a storage service.

Myth 3. AWS cloud disaster recovery service is for disasters only

The name Disaster Recovery is quite a misnomer. Many IT decision makers fail to recognize its true functionality. When they hear “disaster” they think in terms of natural calamities like floods, earthquake, and perhaps large-scale power outage. But they fail to see that large-scale hacking, corrupted and deleted files, non-working applications, server/ machine crashes, etc. can have the same impact as disasters on normal cloud operations. Small service outages can have a huge detrimental impact on your organization too, especially for those in B2C sector.

So, you can avail AWS disaster recovery services even though your organization does not come under earth quake zone, hurricane zone, a flood zone, or tornado zone.

Myth 4. AWS cloud backup does not adhere to enterprise standards for compliance

This is another pervasive myth that the cloud is not as secure as previous generation enterprise grade backup methods of saving and backing up data.

AWS has deployed top end equipments like Failsafe power generators, hardware based encryption such as HSMs, Fail-safe Redundant disk arrays, and temperature-controlled environments. Why? To ensure that the data hosted is persisted in the best of the physical environments possible.

By deploying these tools, AWS cloud storage solutions have achieved numerous compliance standards and security certifications. Above all, AWS features built-in encryption. To know more about compliance in AWS cloud, read the blog, Understanding Compliance In AWS Cloud.

Myth 5. Traditional tapes and external hard-disks are easier and cheaper than AWS

The reality is the exact opposite. The traditional tape and external hard-disks have to be manually operated. Plus, this manual operation exposes the data to the most common form of loss — the human error. Plus, as the need for storage or backup increases,  new devices should be purchased, thereby increasing the cost incurred.

In case of AWS: It features the pay-as-you-go model, delivering access to the most up-to-date technology resources. Plus, there is no capital investment involved. And you pay only for the computing resources that you use, as your needs scale. These features ultimately leads to immense cost savings when compared to other storage device.

By using AWS’s inexpensive and highly scalable infrastructure technology, organizations around the world can stop paying for computing power they aren’t using – and receive more mission for their money.

Myth 6. Doing it ourselves is the best way forward!

Many companies still follow the DIY, or “do-it-yourself,” policy. There is no wrong in believing or doing it all by yourself. But the amount of time, effort, money, and human resource spent on operating and managing AWS cloud backup and disaster recovery is huge. Initially, it looks like managing AWS cloud backup and disaster recovery service is like plug and play. But, it’s not. More than that, a mismanaged disaster recovery and backup systems lead to higher TOC, ultimately equaling the on-premise expenditure. The best way forward is to seek AWS expert’s help instead of taking the DIY path.

Myth 7. AWS and SaaS provider backup by default

Last but not least, many enterprises believe backup isn’t necessary assuming that AWS and the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers will back up their data! The reality is that you as a user need to schedule backups either through the AWS console or via the third party SaaS based tools. The tools create backups of just the snapshots or helps schedule backups on AWS for DR management.

Many cloud-based applications lack basic features that businesses need for backup, such as versioning and geographic separation of backups. Hence it is preferable for enterprises to protect their own cloud-created data.

To Conclude:

The wisdom of using AWS backup and disaster recovery makes complete sense when done in the right way. The best way forward is to look for expertise in cloud management and seek help to reap the complete benefits of AWS cloud backup and disaster recovery services.  Have you been using the AWS cloud for backup and Disaster Recovery? Share your thoughts and experience with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.. Also take up a 14-day Botmetric  trial  to perform a comprehensive AWS backup and disaster recovery audits, and check if your cloud is DR-ready.

P.S: Do read the Botmetric blog on Importance Of Using AWS For Disaster Recovery to get a deeper understanding of Disaster recovery.