In a way, the best disaster that can happen to your organization is one that brings down the data center and makes it inaccessible for weeks. These disasters, often naturally created, make headlines everywhere. While recovering from one of these unfortunate events is certainly critical, user expectations are often surprisingly realistic and being down multiple hours and even a few days is acceptable. Ironically, minor disasters, caused by an application, server or storage failure, don’t have the ‘benefit’ of publicity. As a result user expectations remain high as does pressure on the IT staff. Failure to meet these expectations can damage the company’s reputation and an IT professional’s career path.
What is a Minor Disaster?
Minor disasters are typically caused by three situations. First, an application can develop a bug that causes it to stop or corrupt data. Recovering from this disaster requires an early copy of the application and/or its data. The second is the failure of the physical server that an application is running on. Recovering from this disaster requires re-starting the application on another server, either locally or in a remote facility. The third type of minor disaster is failure of the storage system. It is also the most difficult to recover from since few organizations have standby storage available to them.
Minor Disasters Need Faster Recovery
These minor disasters are all man-made. They can be caused by a virus or external hack into the organization or by faulty software or hardware. In any case a minor disaster will require a faster recovery than a major one. For critical applications, IT professionals need to be prepared to get the application back to operation within a couple of hours. Preparation is vital, since not only are expectations high, the likelihood of one of these types of disasters actually occurring is an order of magnitude greater than a large scale natural disaster.
Preparing for Minor Disasters
As we will detail in our on demand webinar, “Preparing for Disasters that Will Actually Happen”, preparing for these minor disasters requires a data protection and recovery process with three components. First, it has to capture data changes on a near-continuous basis. This keeps data re-entry to a minimum. Second, it has to allow for a variety of time-based recovery points. These need to range from seconds to days, depending on how long it takes to detect a problem. Third, the process needs to recover in a variety of locations, locally, remote and/or in the cloud.
The good news is that designing a process to recover from a minor disaster is foundationally similar to creating a process for recovering from major disasters.
In our webinar we review the differences in types of disasters and discuss how to design a recovery process nimble enough to recover from both major and minor disasters.
If you register for the webinar you can download a copy of Storage Switzerland’s white paper “The Next Generation Disaster – Why DR Needs to Evolve”.