The Changing Scope of Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery, for most organizations, used to mean making sure that a handful of mission-critical applications were protected and able to be brought back online in the event of a data center failure. The data center of today has changed though. There are now dozens, if not hundreds of applications that IT needs to bring back online. Data also resides in more locations and on more systems now. In some ways, data being in multiple locations helps with resiliency as all an organization’s data is not in one spot.

Understanding Your DR Scope

In today’s data center, part of the DR planning process is understanding that the scope has changed. IT needs to protect and eventually recover more applications than ever. The DR plan also needs to encompass an organization’s use of software as a service (SaaS) offerings like Office 365. Most importantly the use of laptops, tablets, and smartphones to get meaningful work done, means that data on these devices needs to be both protected and recovered in the event of a disaster.

The broad scope of modern disaster recovery planning can lead an organization into a data protection nightmare because they end up buying a protection solution for each dataset. Instead, organizations need to look for vendors that can cover all, or at least most, of the disaster recovery scope.

Covering Your DR Scope

Most organizations start their disaster recovery planning process by identifying a solution to protect their most mission-critical applications and business-critical applications. These solutions need replication or recovery in place features. Once IT convinces the organization that SaaS-based data protection is indeed required then they need to select a solution to protect it. The goal is a point-in-time backup of SaaS-based data and that the solution replicates data to an alternate cloud provider.

The big challenge is endpoints. Convincing the organization that endpoint data protection should be part of the DR scope is difficult. If the organization focuses on classic natural disasters, then in all likelihood the endpoint is not in the data center when the disaster strikes. Modern disasters, however, are not limited to natural disasters. More common is human-caused disasters including cyber-attacks and ransomware. Endpoints are the primary entry point for these disasters and are the most likely to be infected. Also, loss of productivity when a user’s laptop is compromised or stolen is a genuine problem.

There are plenty of point solutions that organizations can choose to cover their endpoints. The problem is that then IT ends up having to manage half-a-dozen data protection software solutions, making confirmation of protection status much more difficult. Multiple data protection solutions also make recovery more challenging during the recovery phase of the disaster.

StorageSwiss Take

Disaster recovery planning has to be holistic. Organizations should work hard to use as few data protection solutions and interfaces as possible. A fragmented backup strategy makes it much harder to ensure that all data is protected at the same level and slows down the recovery process.

To learn more about Holistic Disaster Recovery Planning join Storage Switzerland, Veeam and KeepItSafe for our on demand webinar “Holistic Disaster Recovery; from Data Center to Endpoint”. All attendees receive a copy of Storage Switzerland’s latest white paper “Endpoint Data Strategy As A Service.”

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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One comment on “The Changing Scope of Disaster Recovery
  1. Marc Leavitt says:

    C’mon, just say it George; given the dramatic improvements in DR economics (virtualization, cloud, etc), the scope of DR plans should be “everything”. Yes you can tune specifics to deliver different RPO/RTO for different pieces but you may well find that, from a “meta-TCO” perspective, it’s cheaper & easier (and certainly simpler) to throw the same blanket over all enterprise data & have done.

    Then test. Often & well.

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