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Use of cloud for disaster recovery, backup and desktop set to rise

Archana Venkatraman

Adoption of cloud computing will move from SaaS to more sophisticated uses such as disaster recovery (DR), backup, business continuity and desktop as a service. But despite this, IT teams are continuing with antiquated DR practices, found a TechTarget - Computer Weekly survey.

The study of almost 1300 IT professionals found that all cloud services are expected to grow over the next 6 months, with disaster recovery/backup, desktop as a service, and hybrid cloud integration expecting major leaps.

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The adoption of cloud for disaster recovery and business continuity will grow from 17.9% now to 28.5% in six months.

On the contrary, the adoption of SaaS (software-as-a-service) is expected to go down from current 47.7% to 40.4%. SaaS is the only cloud service projecting a decline in adoption.

The rise in the use of cloud for DR practices is the outcome of businesses seeking better analysis of unstructured data (big data) and ways to better protect business data, the study found.

Gap in cloud DR ambition and current usage practices

The use of cloud storage services for disaster recovery is also set to rise from 36% currently to 51% in six months.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a predetermined set of processes offered by a third-party vendor to help an enterprise develop and implement a disaster recovery plan.

One surprise revelation of the study was that despite the projected rise in the use of cloud for DR, only 43% of respondents said they can recover using cloud-based computing services and DR data stored in the cloud.

Furthermore, only 25% reported that they have tested the cloud DR service.

The study found that respondents continue to use archaic DR practices. For instance, beyond cloud DR services, 43% respondents also shipped DR data to another physical recovery site and 34% admitted to still putting DR data on tape.

SaaS challenges

After the adoption of SaaS as the most popular form of cloud computing service in the past, some challenges of SaaS are emerging, the TechTarget study found.

As many as 42% of respondents said that SaaS applications can pose integration challenges and interoperability issues. Another 38% said data integration may be a problem (such as incompatible database formats). About 29% also said that available customisation may be inadequate for their needs

Performance of SaaS apps was another noted issue for 20% of respondents. Additional challenges include a lack of features/functionality (24%), lack of portability (22%), migration problems (20%) and vendor downtime (12%).

Among other findings, the study revealed that when it came to PaaS (platform as a service) adoption, Amazon’s AWS Beanstalk saw the biggest drop (to 19% from 32%). The top four PaaS providers include Google AppEngine (30%), Microsoft Windows Azure (28%), Salesforce Force.com (23%) and Amazon Beanstalk at 19%.

Today, most PaaS deployments are confined to less than 25% of the business’ IT infrastructure, the study found.


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