Earlier this month I had the chance to talk directly with organizations leveraging AWS for cloud DR. It is a very interesting and powerful use case. Calling it transformative is an understatement.
These forward-thinking teams are using AWS as a kind of pilot light for a multi-tier app environment (including a cloned database stack) in AWS storage being kept up to date with incremental changes in the local database.
Amazon is paid during tests and outages, in addition to a very low ongoing storage cost. When compared to the fixed costs of maintaining duplicate racks and data centers, it is a substantial savings. See the red line shown in the diagram. With a private cloud those costs are likely lower (than the fixed costs shown) yet they would still much higher on an ongoing basis.
This operating model opens up business continuity and disaster recovery options for apps that otherwise might not be protected. For one municipality, a $200k proposal for DR for two critical apps was turned down, leaving the apps unprotected. The municipality explored options and looked to leverage “pilot light DR” on AWS. You can find out more at: Advanced Strategies for Leveraging AWS for Disaster Recovery.
There is yet another payoff with “pilot light DR” on AWS: agility. Notice the small spikes from tests. These tests can be conducted on demand with a high degree of automation and without having to request permission from a service provider.
The notion of pilot light DR seems intuitively obvious, yet it requires a hybrid cloud automation platform that supports the unique demands of production environments in the cloud.
If you’re interested, check out these interesting blogs by my partner in crime CloudVelocity CTO Anand Iyengar:
PS… While traveling to meet customers, I also had the chance to eat some incredible BBQ at 12 Bones in Asheville, NC. That’s me on only 4 hours of sleep, not realizing that I’m about to eat some of the most incredible BBQ. I assure you that I will be smiling before the meal next time.