Ceiling: Zero - Get Ready for the Cloud!

In aviation lingo, ‘ceiling’ is the height of cloud cover above the ground. ‘Ceiling zero’ means a cloud cover is looming so close to the runway that your visibility is obscured before you even take off. It’s the aviation equivalent of ‘objects in mirror are closer than they appear.’ And it’s also an apt description for the state of IT today: Ready or not, the cloud is coming to you.


It’s time to take action, cut through the fog of claims and options, discern needs and best practices, and plan a cloud strategy that lets your environment fly high. Take a look at these numbers, assembled by Forbes magazine:

  • Morgan Stanley predicts Microsoft cloud products will be 30% of revenue by 2018.
  • In 2015, Amazon Web Services (AWS) generated $7.88B in revenue with Q4 2015, up 69% over last year.
  • Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from nearly $70B in 2015 to more than $141B in 2018.

Insights like these mean that if you aren’t thinking of how you’ll leverage public cloud for your environment, you should be. And to really fly high, you should leverage cloud for data protection.

Replicating recovery points to the cloud is a great disaster recovery method, and also can help you comply with government, industry, and company requirements for retaining backups. It’s a smooth and simple takeoff if you hook up with a cloud service provider to provide and manage the replication target.

So, what’s your flight plan? For best results, use a backup, replication and recovery solution that permits point-and-click setup and configuration of the replication process. A good solution will take only minutes to configure, offer WAN-optimized replication, and be built on an incremental-forever, block-based backup architecture. This means that only newly changed and unique blocks are compressed, deduplicated, and then transferred to the cloud, delivering efficient utilization of bandwidth.

For optimum flexibility, make sure your replication target can be configured with a retention policy that is independent of the source. For example, you may want to configure your source backup server to store three months of backup data on-premises, and configure the cloud-based target server to store an additional 12 months to meet longer-term retention policies.

For even longer-term retention, look for a cloud provider that supports archiving, and backup/replication software that enables easy point-and-click connection to use cloud as your archiving storage tier. And finally, look for flexible recovery options, including point-and-click bare-metal restore (BMR) and file-lever restore (FLR) from your cloud-based archives.

With public cloud as a well-planned component of your data protection strategy, your business can soar. Some of the IT-related benefits are obvious: By moving your archives and replicating your backups to public cloud, you can avoid CAPEX for storage and associated environmentals, as well as the operational expenses required to manage and maintain them. But by leveraging public cloud you can also free up funds you can invest in initiatives like improved customer service, to make the overall business more competitive.  In a recent Venturebeat study, 70% of respondents said they pumped the money they saved by their cloud initiatives back into their business, frequently in ways that improved their customer service.

Nothing obscure about it — it’s time to develop your flight plan for data protection in the cloud. Cloud readiness can put you on the runway for heightened competitiveness. Learn more about using the cloud to bolster disaster recovery in our on-demand webcast: Making the Cloud Work for You: Rapid Recovery, Replication and DR.