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Disaster recovery - built right in to Google Apps

Posted by John Collins, Senior Global Trust PM, Google Apps

Editors note: This post is part of a series that explores the top ten reasons why customers trust Google with their business data. A complete top ten list can be found here.

Technology failures and natural disasters can significantly impact your business. Planning for them can be cumbersome and expensive. In a typical on-premise IT environment disaster recovery often means redundant infrastructure, backup tapes or storage area networks and a lot of IT complexity. Some businesses even build and manage duplicate data centers, specifically for disaster recovery, and those data centers sit idle the majority of the time.

The effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan is commonly measured in two ways: Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO measures how long before users can access systems in the event of a failure. RPO measures how much of a time gap exists when the data is restored. Businesses that have invested lots of time and money in disaster recovery preparation are typically able to set RTO and RPO goals at a few hours or less for critical systems, with the cost increasing as those timeframes decrease. For other businesses that haven’t invested at that level, RTO and RPO can stretch into hours or days. And in extreme cases, if disaster strikes, some businesses just have to start over.

Google Apps offers a better way, with robust disaster recovery capabilities built right in. Our RPO design target is zero data loss and our RTO design target is instant failover. This means that if there is a disaster or disruption that affects one of our data centers, we are able to shift users to an alternate data center, so they can can continue working uninterrupted. And while no disaster recovery solution from any provider is perfect, we are proud of the benefits our customers gain.

In the words of Mark Switalski, Macomb County Circuit Court Chief Judge, and Carmella Sabaugh, Macomb County Clerk:

“We know that when a disaster happens, our system will not go down and because our data is in the cloud, it is protected and accessible from anywhere. After a rare tornado hit last summer, briefly disrupting power and some network services, the clerk’s Google service remained accessible via cell phone and other networks.”

Planning for disasters is a big challenge, but with Google Apps you have fewer things to worry about. Your email and documents will be accessible so your business can continue despite the disaster. It’s one of the main reasons that businesses trust Google Apps with their data.