Enterprise confidence in the cloud is increasing, and cloud usage to back up, recover and archive mission-critical data also increases as businesses implement cloud-based business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) plans. According to the fourth annual “State of the Cloud and Data Protection” report by Unitrends, in the last three years, the percentage of organizations using cloud for BC/DR capabilities has risen 22%. Yet even with this vote of confidence in cloud resiliency, questions about it still linger. In the annual “2018 Cloud Security Report” by Cybersecurity Insiders and Crowd Research Partners,” 18% of cybersecurity and IT professionals question the cloud’s ability to reliably deliver business continuity.”
Although public cloud service provider (CSP) outages are rare, they do happen, even to the best of CSPs. It is estimated that an extreme cyber incident that knocks a top CSP offline in the U.S. for three to six days would result in $15 billion worth of industry losses. This reality is causing many businesses to revisit their BC/DR strategies as they move ahead to migrate critical workloads to the cloud. Fortunately, there is an “easy button” for reliable business continuity and disaster recovery in the cloud.
Build a multicloud safety net
When it comes to BC/DR, many businesses lack a comprehensive strategy to address unplanned downtime due to human error, natural disasters, power outages or fire. In fact, 27% of businesses reported they do not have a separate BC/DR location (on-premises, colocation or cloud) in place, according to the “2018 Cloud Security Report.” As a result, businesses that maintain only on-site BC/DR data centers are seeing diminishing returns from maintaining redundant facilities and are looking to move their physical BC/DR infrastructures to the cloud to save on CAPEX, reduce complexity, and establish a more dynamic and seamless recovery environment.
With more companies migrating mission-critical workloads to the cloud and deploying cloud-based BC/DR infrastructures, IT organizations must ensure resilient and redundant cloud connectivity to avoid service interruptions. A best practice for any business is to deploy a redundant remote connection to a CSP within a region that is at least 30 to 100 miles away from the primary cloud location. But to do that, you need a geographically distributed interconnection platform that can securely and dynamically connect CSPs and digital ecosystems across multiple regional, national and global metros.
Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™), a key element of Platform Equinix®, enables businesses to quickly and easily build resilient, geo-diverse connections to CSPs that meet key business continuity requirements. As a cloud-neutral solution, it delivers flexible, on-demand, global interconnection to create secure network connections to CSPs in multiple metro markets for redundancy and high availability. ECX Fabric, in conjunction with a cloud-enabled storage device, provides an advanced interconnection platform that allows enterprises to pivot among various CSPs—within and between markets—to build integrated, geo-redundant multicloud and hybrid cloud architectures.
Today’s distributed IT infrastructures are spread across an array of cloud and local services, which can quickly complicate a BC/DR plan. Connecting directly to individual CSPs often increases networking costs and management complexity. However, ECX Fabric simplifies real-time interconnection to multiple, distributed CSPs with a self-serve portal, allowing businesses to make connections in just minutes. Through a single port, businesses can access a robust, interconnected cloud ecosystem to dynamically provision facility-to-facility or metro-to-metro remote connections to more than 1,200 ECX Fabric customers and 70+ CSPs.
ECX Fabric business continuity infrastructure across distributed locations and clouds
Connect to multiple clouds with greater BC/DR control
Businesses can easily control switching among multiple cloud providers within a single market or between markets, rather than relying on a permanent connection to a single provider. With a primary data center, distributed CSPs that act as data replication or BC/DR sites can be accessed anytime, anywhere via high-speed, low-latency connections for seamless failover and recovery.
Compliance regulations limit where many businesses can store their data, making traditional BC/DR solutions costly and difficult to maintain. Accessing local, in-region clouds via ECX Fabric is usage-based, so remote connections can be dynamically turned up and down as needed, while reducing excessive BC/DR CAPEX costs. Using cloud storage also eliminates idle compute and storage resources that are updated and maintained in standby mode in the event of a failure or outage.
BMC Software: streamlining active-active disaster recovery
A great example of the power of ECX Fabric is our customer BMC Software. BMC needed to migrate its growing global business to a more automated, reliable digital IT service-delivery and support-desk model for its 700,000+ core Software as a Service (SaaS) subscribers and 1,200+ SaaS customers worldwide. By leveraging ECX Fabric, the organization transformed its service-delivery systems and support methods to more innovative “smart” digital IT platforms with greater interconnection to increase performance, reliability and security across its 14 global data centers.
BMC moved its SaaS operations for its IT service management into Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in Chicago and Amsterdam—two of the biggest internet hubs with the lowest latency around the world. This move enabled BMC to better interconnect its IT service-management solutions at the digital edge of its enterprise network, where high concentrations of users, data and applications reside.
The BMC SaaS team migrated 120+ customers to its new IT service-management infrastructure in just seven months, and now it delivers dramatically higher service levels with zero migration-related issues. With Equinix, BMC reduced service-impacting incidents by 1,000% and decreased IT-related user downtime by 25%. The transformed infrastructure provides its customers with a cloud-based, active-active disaster recovery configuration from an interconnected data center architecture that supports business continuity with an average uptime of >99.9999%. This has also enabled extreme resiliency for BMC’s high-performance compute, network and storage systems.
BMC Software is just one of thousands of enterprises taking full advantage of cloud BC/DR infrastructures built on a single interconnection and colocation data center platform. Platform Equinix, with ECX Fabric, delivers direct, secure and reliable connectivity in 30+ markets worldwide, and 200 Equinix IBX data centers act as hubs for more than 60% of the world’s Tier 1 cloud on-ramps.
Learn more about how you can stop worrying about business continuity in the cloud and start gaining a BC/DR business advantage by reading the ECX Fabric data sheet.