In the Media: Internet2’s Sean O’Brien Discusses Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery with EdTech

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Disaster recovery remains a critical challenge in the cybersecurity landscape, sparking ongoing discussions among Internet2 members and the broader research and education community. Some institutions are now turning to the cloud to modernize their approach.

EdTech: Focus on Higher Education recently interviewed Sean O’Brien, associate vice president for NET+ cloud services at Internet2, and two university IT leaders about cloud-based disaster recovery in higher education. The discussion included the reasons colleges and universities are moving their disaster recovery solutions to the cloud, along with best practices.

Sean O'Brien speaking behind a podium at The Westin Peachtree plaza Atlanta.
Sean O’Brien

So why the cloud for disaster recovery? 

From O’Brien’s perspective, the potential for cost savings is a major driver. Having an expansive on-campus disaster recovery environment is hardware intensive. As an alternative, the cloud offers “the opportunity to save your capital budget,” O’Brien said. “Switching from that capital expense to an operating expense for disaster recovery in the cloud can be attractive.”

As a best practice, O’Brien recommended planning ahead for data egress and the costs associated with restoring data from a cloud backup after a disaster. For campuses building their own backup solutions using major cloud platforms like AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle OCI, he added that there are ways to mitigate those costs.

“If you’re on a research and education network, all of the major Infrastructure as a Service providers have data egress waivers available that typically cover up to 15 percent of your bill on data egress spending. It’s important to ensure you have that in place,” O’Brien said.

Read the story in EdTech, How Disaster Recovery Solutions Help Universities Get Their Data Back