Lessons Learned from Disaster Recovery on the Cloud - Embracing Resilience

July 31, 2023

Today is my birthday, and I experienced a memorable incident where my MacBook Pro keyboard stopped working. This was quite frustrating as I tried all possible ways to fix it, including an SMC (System Management Controller) reset, NVRAM (nonvolatile random-access memory) reset, etc. Unfortunately, none of these attempts resolved the hardware fault issue. I had no choice but to take it to a nearby repair shop, and it cost me a fortune to replace the keyboard and the screen of the Apple product. Moreover, I lost an entire day of productivity as I could barely work on my remote desktop. This incident serves as a reminder of the fundamental principle of cloud infrastructure: it is designed for failure.

2023 07 31

In recent years, the cloud has revolutionized the way businesses manage their data and applications. Its scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness have drawn countless organizations to migrate their infrastructure to the cloud. Among the many benefits, disaster recovery (DR) and resilience have become paramount considerations for safeguarding against unforeseen events. This blog post explores the lessons learned from disaster recovery on the cloud, with an emphasis on resilience as a core strategy for ensuring business continuity.

1. Understanding the Importance of Resilience

Resilience refers to an organization's ability to adapt, recover, and continue functioning in the face of disruptions. In the context of cloud-based disaster recovery, resilience means having a comprehensive plan in place to handle failures or outages, while ensuring that critical operations can quickly resume. Understanding the importance of resilience as a proactive approach to managing disasters is the first step towards building a robust disaster recovery strategy.

2. Embracing Redundancy for High Availability

One of the key principles of cloud resilience is redundancy. Cloud service providers offer multiple availability zones and regions, allowing businesses to replicate data and applications across different physical locations. By adopting redundancy, organizations can ensure high availability and reduce the risk of a single point of failure. Utilizing multiple regions also offers geographic diversity, which can be invaluable in mitigating risks associated with localized disasters.

3. Regular Testing and Monitoring

A disaster recovery plan on the cloud is only as good as its testing and monitoring procedures. Regularly testing recovery processes and monitoring system health are critical to identifying vulnerabilities and weaknesses before a real disaster strikes. Automated monitoring tools can provide real-time insights into the performance of applications and the overall infrastructure, allowing teams to take immediate action in response to anomalies or potential issues.

4. Backups: A Safety Net

Backups are the safety net of disaster recovery. Regularly backing up data and configurations in a separate location or cloud provider adds an extra layer of security against data loss. Embracing the 3-2-1 rule (three copies of data, two different media types, one offsite) ensures redundancy and makes recovering from a disaster more manageable.

5. Disaster Recovery as Code (DRaC)

As cloud infrastructure becomes increasingly programmable, embracing Disaster Recovery as Code (DRaC) becomes a game-changer. DRaC involves scripting and automating the disaster recovery process, allowing businesses to recover their entire infrastructure with a single command. Automating the recovery process minimizes human errors, speeds up the recovery time, and ensures consistency across different recovery scenarios.

6. Collaborative Disaster Planning and Training

Resilience is not just an IT department's responsibility; it's a company-wide effort. Collaborative disaster planning and regular training exercises involving all stakeholders are crucial to ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities during a crisis. By fostering a culture of preparedness, businesses can respond more effectively to disruptions and maintain essential operations during challenging times.

7. Evolving with Emerging Technologies

The cloud computing landscape is constantly evolving, and with it come new technologies that enhance disaster recovery capabilities. Embracing emerging technologies, such as serverless computing, containerization, and edge computing, can further enhance resilience by offering greater flexibility and faster recovery times.


Disasters, whether natural or technological, can strike without warning. However, with proper disaster recovery planning and a focus on resilience, businesses can mitigate the impact of these events on their operations and data. The cloud's inherent scalability and redundancy offer an ideal platform for implementing robust disaster recovery strategies. By understanding the importance of resilience, embracing redundancy, conducting regular testing, and adopting emerging technologies, organizations can confidently navigate through crises and emerge stronger than ever before. Remember, in the world of disaster recovery on the cloud, resilience is the key to unlocking uninterrupted business continuity.

As I turn from 32 to 33 years old, I feel the need to apply disaster recovery principles in my life as well. I consider myself a minimalist and do not prefer redundant stuff. That's why I only own a phone and laptop, and I have refused to buy a tablet as it seems unnecessary. However, today I realized the importance of having one for increased productivity and getting things done when my laptop broke down.

Moreover, as I grow older, I understand the significance of resilience, both financially and psychologically, in preparing myself for uncertainties in life. Unexpected things can happen, like my keyboard suddenly stopping working. How I respond to such incidents and adapt to changes matters greatly. Therefore, my birthday wish this year is to become more resilient and better prepare myself for all the challenges life may bring.

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Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn