Cloud Downtime Insurance and Disaster Recovery: Weighing the Costs and Benefits


By Florian Malecki, Executive Vice President Marketing, Arcserve

Gartner forecasts worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will grow more than 20 percent in 2022 to $494.7 billion. Gartner also projects that number will increase to $600 billion by 2023. As more and more companies adopt cloud computing, their downtime risks also increase.

For those reasons, among others, we’ve seen a rise in cloud downtime insurance in recent years. Downtime insurance covers you for short-term cloud outages, network crashes, and platform failures that last up to 24 hours. 

Cloud Downtime Happens More Often Than You Think

You may think your data is safe when you move it to a cloud provider, but that isn’t always the case. Last year, a fire in the data center of French web hosting service OVHcloud, Europe’s largest cloud provider, caused the loss of massive amounts of customer data. The impacts were felt by government agencies, e-commerce companies, banks, and many other sectors.

While you should consider the cloud as a reliable resource, the reality is that cloud downtime isn’t unusual. Cloud insurance provider Parametrix says that, on average, one of the three major cloud providers—Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud—has an outage lasting at least 30 minutes every three weeks. Cloud downtime insurance can be a helpful safety net for your business. Still, it doesn’t eliminate all your risks, including ensuring your business can get back up and running quickly when disaster strikes.

While insurance may cover you for any short-term losses you incur, it won’t cover the damage to your brand and customer loyalty that downtime can cause. Rather than rely entirely on cloud downtime insurance, we recommend three strategies to help weather cloud downtime and other unexpected events.

Data Resilience: A Proactive Approach

A proactive approach starts with ensuring your disaster recovery plan is up to date and regularly tested. Your plan should include a data resilience strategy that ensures business continuity in the event of an incident.

Critical metrics for your plan include your recovery point and recovery time objectives (RPOs, RTOs). RPO determines how much data your business can afford to lose in a disaster and is the basis for how frequently you back up your data. For some organizations, backing up 24 hours is enough. For others, such as finance and healthcare, RPOs may be measured in milliseconds.

RTO determines the acceptable amount of time your operations can be offline in a disaster and is the basis for your disaster recovery solution investment. If your RTO is one hour, you need to invest in solutions that can get your business running again within that timeframe.

Establishing your RPO and RTO—then implementing the solutions you need to achieve them—are the keys to data resilience.

Make Your Backup and Recovery Solution a Priority

Your cloud data is secured under the shared responsibility model. While cloud providers may promise to secure their infrastructure and services, securing operating systems, platforms, and data is your responsibility. Ultimately, you are responsible for protecting your data if anything goes wrong. That’s why many cloud providers recommend that their customers use third-party software to protect their data.

A reliable cloud backup and recovery solution will help you secure and gain better control over all your data. Look for a data protection solution that automatically backs up your data every 15 minutes and gives you multiple recovery points. That guarantees your data is continuously protected while giving you fast access and visibility 24/7.

Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Backing up your data on-premises or in the cloud is a crucial and cost-effective first step in any disaster recovery plan. But it’s only the first step. You also need a plan to recover your data quickly in an emergency. Think of your business journey as a trip on a cruise ship (although probably not as relaxing). Just like a cruise ship regularly tests its lifeboats (weekly, in case you’re wondering), you should test your recovery plan often. You should simulate disruptions to see how well your plan works and regularly test your backup images to ensure they will be available when needed. Your recovery plan is your lifeboat. And it will serve you best if it’s built based on the 3-2-1-1 backup strategy,

Be Ready

More threats are coming your way every day. That’s why it’s worth considering cloud downtime insurance. But insurance alone isn’t nearly enough. Learn how Arcserve solutions can help you meet your RPOs and RTOs—and be confident of recovery no matter what—by choosing an expert Arcserve technology partner. Check out our free demos to see how Arcserve products perform for yourself.

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