As 2012 nears, what are the forecasted trends in disaster recovery?

Doyenz Inc., a provider of cloud-based recovery services for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), announced its disaster recovery-related predictions for the coming year. Chief revenue officer Eric Webster predicts that the disaster recovery market will experience a flurry of changes as cloud computing technologies mature and automation drives greater cost and operational efficiencies.

 1. The Demise of Cloud Storage

Many businesses think of cloud storage as a hard disk in the sky, when in fact the only functionality of cloud storage is file backup and retrieval. In most cases, the end user will never know if the files are recoverable until after a critical outage occurs and they are faced with the dilemma of trying to recover those files. With the introduction of cloud computing and the growing number of "copy cat" cloud providers, cloud storage has become highly commoditized with the number of players growing every year. Doyenz believes SMBs will look beyond cloud-based storage solutions to a new generation of recovery as-a-service technology, focusing on replication and recovery of production environments in the cloud.

 2. SMBs Will Demand Availability of Applications, Not Just Data

SMBs are increasingly relying on software applications to run their business, but often find themselves with few IT professionals onsite to help deal with an outage or software issue.  While this increased dependency on apps seems like a simple concept, it is making SMBs more vulnerable than ever. With these shifts in mind, Doyenz predicts that in 2012 SMBs will demand not only data recovery capabilities but full application recovery so that they can continue to run their businesses, even in the face of a disaster.

3. Access to Recovery Environments from Any Device, Anytime, Anywhere Becomes Critical Requirement

In the cloud, it's all about instant and scalable access to your data. Doyenz predicts that these consumerized cloud computing expectations will influence SMB requirements of service providers. In 2012, the SMB market will require cloud companies to provide intuitive web management environments that enable instant access to production applications in recovery environments.  SMBs will expect their IT service providers to be able to access and manage their data in the cloud so they can not only test recovery, but perform recovery operations.

4. When it Comes to Application Recovery, Blind Trust Will Be Traded in for Hard Proof

In 2012, service agreements that simply state a customer's applications will be replicated in the cloud will no longer be sufficient. Days of blindly trusting a cloud provider will be traded in for hard proof that applications are backed up in the cloud and ready to be recovered. At any time, SMBs should be able to verify the integrity of their data and server images, and instantly access their applications.

"We continue to hear from SMBs that when it comes to disaster recovery, they are looking for a cloud-based solution that's easy to use, accessible from anywhere, and can offer them a low RTO," said Eric Webster, chief revenue officer at Doyenz. "We predict that 2012 will be a year of change in the disaster recovery market, with increased pressure on cloud providers to offer their customers solutions that meet these streamlined needs."