Nexstor has conducted a cloud disaster recovery survey aimed at uncovering the top concerns for companies moving to cloud-based DR services in 2023.
The survey asked 3500 IT professionals from around the UK what their biggest concerns were regarding the cloud, and revealed that security, support, and the speed of recovery are all top of the list.
Despite these worries, most organisations continue to invest more heavily in the cloud, citing lower operational costs and improved compliance as primary cloud deployment drivers.1 What’s more, an estimated 90% of businesses are using cloud infrastructure to deploy their data protection strategy — whether that’s part of a disaster recovery plan or simply a backup system.2
In this report, we’ll outline the most common concerns that IT professionals have regarding cloud disaster recovery, what solutions are available to them, and how the industry might need to adapt.
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What were the disaster recovery survey results?
Nexstor’s cloud survey revealed that IT professionals are most concerned about security, hidden costs, data recovery speeds, support, and cloud portability; and past reports show that these concerns have remained largely the same over the last three years.3 Let’s explore each of these areas in more depth:
1. Security: the paramount concern
Cybersecurity is the top investment priority for organisations in 2023, over data management, AI/ML, and application/infrastructure modernisation.4 And unsurprisingly, this was the top concern for IT leaders in our survey, with 57% of respondents citing security as their primary worry.
Other recent surveys have shown that cloud security concerns primarily stem from a lack of understanding about who owns what security responsibilities.5 This implies that, in many cases, security can be improved through internal and provider security policy restructuring.
However, it’s undeniable that many core security concerns arise from the health of the cloud infrastructure itself, and how accessible it may be to external users.
The protection of sensitive data and critical applications is vital in any disaster recovery scenario, and cloud-based services must guarantee robust security measures to instil confidence in their customers. DRaaS providers should focus on offering end-to-end encryption, secure access controls, and multi-factor authentication, as well as regularly updating their systems to protect against emerging threats.
FAQ: How can I ensure my cloud data is secure?
A major concern that we found among IT professionals was that they were unsure if their data would be stored within or outside the UK — which would dictate whether they were meeting crucial national compliance and security requirements.
Where your cloud data is stored will depend entirely on which disaster recovery as a service (DraaS) provider you work with. All of Nexstor’s DR storage is hosted on enterprise-grade hardware in UK data centres, featuring state-of-the-art security measures provided by industry-leading vendors. As a hybrid-native organisation, we have a comprehensive understanding of the security landscape.
To prevent cybercriminals or unwanted third parties from gaining access to your data, Nexstor also uses:
- Advanced Firewall technology
- MDR services
- Ongoing monitoring and security updates to ensure your data remains secure
We hold ISO27001, Cyber Essentials, and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications, so you can have confidence in our integrity and professionalism.
2. Support: the need for a reliable partner
As IT professionals manage increasingly extensive cloud environments and face growing big data challenges, the need for comprehensive DR support is growing.
Nexstor’s survey identified this as one of the top tech concerns in 2023, with 17% of IT leaders expressing concern about the level of support offered by cloud-based DR providers. When disaster strikes, businesses need immediate and effective assistance to minimise downtime and ensure a smooth recovery.
This result is supported by a recent report by CloudBolt Software, which revealed that 56% of IT professionals felt that they were lacking cloud expertise and resources, and 48% identified a lack of multi-cloud support as a key concern.6
Providers should prioritise offering 24/7 customer support, comprehensive onboarding, and training, as well as clear communication channels for reporting issues and receiving updates.
FAQ: What kind of support can I request from my provider?
Ideally, this is something you should check prior to signing a contract with a cloud DR service. Most DRaaS providers will offer some level of contractual support, but unfortunately, lengthy response times and limited phone line hours are not uncommon within the industry.
Nexstor’s team of cloud experts are available 24/7 to support clients across the UK. We have a dedicated email and telephone line for support and maintenance so that clients can contact us quickly in the case of a technical fault or system failure.
Unlike other disaster recovery services, Nexstor only bills customers for the resources they host on our platform — not the support they seek. This means that you can contact us free of charge at any time, and have greater confidence in the security and sustainability of your data.
3. Speed of recovery: the race against time
The speed of recovery was the third-highest concern among our respondents, with 13% highlighting speed as a critical consideration. In today’s fast-paced business world, prolonged downtime can lead to significant financial losses and reputational damage.
Veeam’s 2023 Data Protection Trends Report showed that some 48% of companies recover to the cloud following a disaster, while 74% use the cloud as part of their backup solutions.7 This indicates that even though speed to recovery is a concern, many professionals are choosing to go with cloud DR regardless.
There are a number of different advantages and disadvantages to cloud backup, and speed of recovery is one that can be effectively mitigated through the use of the right technology or service provider. Cloud-based DR services must:
- Work with businesses to minimise RPO and RTO
- Leverage advanced technologies and efficient processes to minimise downtime
- Quickly restore data and applications in the case of a disaster
FAQ: How long does cloud recovery and failover typically take?
The speed of recovery on your cloud or multi-cloud system will ultimately depend on how it is set up. Private cloud backup systems will typically have longer access speeds, especially if multi-authentication is required, while public cloud data may be more easily accessible.
Our cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) boasts near-zero RPO/RTO, and as a RIPE Certified Managed Service Provider, we offer a variety of connectivity options.
Recovering 10TBs of data through Nexstor takes approximately X minutes, as users can easily search and locate individual protected files across a range of systems, including Microsoft Teams and Office 365. Meanwhile, if an IT professional wanted to failover an application and move users onto it, they could do so in just X hours/minutes/days.
4. Hidden or unpredictable costs: the quest for transparency
Cloud disaster recovery software provides unequalled access to data and business continuity in the case of a disaster. But does this come at a cost? Our survey showed that hidden or unpredictable costs are a source of worry for 9% of IT leaders.
In results similar to those of our survey, Flexera’s 2023 State of the Cloud Report suggested that 82% of cloud decision makers view managing cloud spend as one of their greatest challenges — a statistic which is hardly reassuring to those considering moving their DR to the cloud.8
Companies seek transparency and predictability in pricing, as unexpected expenses can strain budgets and create financial instability; and it’s DRaaS providers’ responsibility to offer this.
To address this concern, cloud-based DR providers should offer clear, upfront pricing structures, work closely with clients to identify potential hidden costs or additional fees, and should not charge for essential services such as cloud support.
FAQ: Can you actually predict the long-term costs of cloud backup and DR?
Many respondents to Nexstor’s 2023 cloud survey identified that cloud costs have a habit of escalating, and demonstrated concern about the long-term viability of using cloud disaster recovery services. Many were worried that if they needed to restore large amounts of data, their prices would skyrocket.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to the question of how much data a company will typically need to recover, as this will depend on the amount of data being handled and what the user’s long-term access requirements are.
However, the costs associated with your DR and failover service are not intrinsically tied to the amount of data you recover. Some managed providers, like Nexstor, do not charge for egress, meaning that IT leaders can enjoy the capacity benefits of cloud-based data storage and DR without worrying about the amount of information they are accessing or restoring. Nexstor offers:
- A fixed pricing model to eliminate concerns about cost predictability
- No data egress charges
- No additional support fees
This solution is perfect for those who may be at higher risk of data loss, and who might need more regular access to backup data. With Nexstor, you can choose a short-term contract or a longer-term contract of 12 months or more.
5. Cloud portability: the freedom to move
Cloud portability was the fifth top concern for our respondents, with 4% of IT leaders emphasising the need to switch providers with minimal disruption if necessary. Choosing the wrong provider and being unable to transfer your cloud DR system can result in significant long-term costs and operational deficiencies.
And some 97% of IT leaders believe that cloud service providers (CSPs) should define standards that enable better multi-cloud portability, as they seek to ensure that portability is realised at both a hypothetical and contractual level.9
Vendor lock-in can hinder businesses from leveraging the best technology and services available, so providers should ensure their solutions are easily transferable and compatible with other cloud platforms. Being able to easily switch between different services and providers, while also operating across multi-cloud networks, is essential to today’s IT leaders.
FAQ: How easy is it to move to another service, and will it incur additional costs?
Nexstor enables cloud portability by working with a range of different vendors, so that our clients have access to a selection of cloud DR platforms, and can work with us to choose one that suits their needs.
Our backup and data recovery service is highly flexible and allows users to easily transfer their data if they would like to work with a different vendor or provider. How long it takes to move all of your data to another service will, of course, depend on the amount of data you store with us — however, expect it to take between X and Y days/hours/weeks. We do not charge clients who choose to move to another cloud provider.
Transforming cloud disaster recovery services in 2023
According to a recent Google Cloud survey, IT leaders that use the cloud are 14% more likely to exceed organisational performance goals than those that do not; but there’s no denying that cloud DR comes with certain challenges.
As more businesses adopt cloud-based disaster recovery services, providers must ensure they understand and address the concerns of their customers. Meanwhile, IT professionals must check that their DR service provides sufficient security, portability and scalability, and should look for providers who offer a high level of customer support. Without this, they risk leaving their cloud systems exposed to frequent downtime and poor data security.
Nexstor’s cloud-based disaster recovery solution
Nexstor is a leading managed IT service provider, offering innovative cloud-based disaster recovery as a service, as well as cloud archiving, Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS), and more. We work with a wide range of vendors to ensure that each of our cloud DR meets the security, cost, and speed specifications required by IT professionals in 2023.
We have extensive experience working with both single and multi-cloud systems and can provide informed advice on which DR solution might work best for your business.
Contact us today to learn more about Nexstor and how we can help you.
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