Disasters come in many shapes and sizes, from cyber-attacks to natural disasters. But whatever form it takes, the outcome can be the same, significant ramifications across your organisation.

Imagine a Local Government losing sensitive or irreplaceable data, or a Council datacentre experiencing an extended power/cooling outage. The impact is felt across multiple departments, from libraries to waste management and community spaces to swimming centres. All of theses outages will impact service delivery to residents.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Whilst we can’t prevent a cyclone, we can take steps to ensure your organisation has a ready and tested disaster recovery plan.


Recovery Time Objectives: Cloud vs On-Prem

According to a study, during a Disaster Recovery Event (DRE) the average cost of downtime is $8,300 per minute. With statistics like this, it is easy to see why an organisation would want to have an optimal Recovery Time Objective (RTO) & Recovery Point Objective (RPO). But a surprising number of businesses have not considered planning for either and therefore have not assessed how their business infrastructure might affect it.

On-premises servers typically have longer RTOs. If the site a server is located in is compromised, there is a physical requirement to fix it. The time this takes can vary immensely depending on the location, the cause of compromise and the plan put in place.

The same issues can occur in the Cloud but the risk is minimised as data backups can be held in multiple Cloud locations. The cost of having multiple geographically separated backups is substantially lower than trying to achieve the same thing with on-premises servers.  This is a common problem facing organisations, where multiple offices and venues can be compromised if there is damage (fire, flood or power outage) at the main office site where the servers are located.

Whilst it is possible to achieve a very short RTO & RPO in both Cloud and on-premises servers, it is achievable for a much lower cost in the Cloud. Cloud DR solutions are purchased on a PAYG basis and don’t require significant up-front capital as on-premises solutions do. Protection starts at $15 per virtual machine (VM), per month. This means that Local Government can protect residents’ vital, valuable data and services, whilst simultaneously reducing capital expenditure and ultimately reducing the burden on rate payers.


Moving from On-Premises to Cloud

Backups and recovery are part of a Business Continuity Plan that defines the organisations reflexes in the event of significant incident.

An example of a good Business Continuity Plan is the current cloud architecture for Noosa Shire Council . The Council identified that their on-premises infrastructure left them exposed and at risk. Specifically, Council:

  • is in a regional location with limited network connectivity;
  • is spread across multiple locations with servers based in one site; and
  • was reliant on the head office being online, so during downtime at the head office all Council buildings and branches could not access required data

The Council leverages TechnologyOne’s hosted Local Government Platform. The SaaS platform enabled the day-to-day core operations however any auxiliary files for non-core operations were managed outside of the system in an inconsistent manner. Businesses with multiple locations are particularly vulnerable to shadow IT systems being implemented which can make back-ups and data recovery tricky.

Upon consultation, the Council opted to move to a hybrid solution where the main servers remained on-premises but the back-ups were managed in Azure. This migration allowed the Council to reduce their RTO and RPO.


The Cost-Benefit of Cloud-Based Data

The cost of disaster prevention varies depending on the infrastructure you are using.  Cloud-based workloads are relatively inexpensive compared to their on-site counterparts.

In addition to this, Cloud workloads can be scaled up and down based on needs. Scaling up on-premises workloads can involve buying additional hardware, ensuring you have space to accommodate them and potential additional costs associated with ongoing management and deployment.

In Azure, businesses pay for backup services as they are needed. Each VM incurs a a service fee and  storage costs. This means the cost of a good disaster prevention plan in the Cloud can be considerably less than the on-premises option.  Or put another way, you could be dramatically more secure and robust for the same budget you’re spending now.


When to Seek Expert Help

It can be very easy to take a ‘it won’t happen to us’ approach to a data disaster or rely on an old recovery plan.

But when you consider the possible ramifications, including legal and financial consequences for organisations that fail to protect their customers’ data properly, it does not take long to realise why you need a plan.

At Codify, we understand the significance of a DRE, the importance of data recovery and a good disaster prevention strategy. We have helped numerous businesses migrate to the cloud, protecting their data and saving them money in the process with our CloudLift Solution.

CloudLift is our evidence-based solution to support migrations to Microsoft Azure. It creates a defined plan for your cloud migration – outlining the exact costs for pre and post migration – and timeline up front, so you know what you’re in for.

Codify can assist customers to secure funding for CloudLift. Find out if you are eligible now.

If you would like help identifying system improvements for your business register for Stepping Stones to the Cloud, our free workshop today.

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