How to Prepare for Site-Wide Disasters

It used to be that natural disasters, such as major hurricanes, were arguably the worst thing that could happen to the enterprise from an IT continuity perspective. Practically speaking, nothing else could really result in a site-wide data center failure. Today, however, that is no longer the case thanks to the growing number and increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks. The number of possible disasters – and specifically the number of possible severe disasters – has increased significantly.

The challenge facing IT professionals is that the expectations and requirements of the business have changed. Business continuity depends on instant or near-instant recovery of applications and data, even if the data center itself has been destroyed. Downtime and data loss cannot be tolerated because they have a direct and substantial, negative impact on the ability to do business as well as on brand perception.

The major problem is that building and operating an entire secondary disaster recovery (DR) site has always been very expensive and very complex. Preparing for a disaster is only becoming more difficult as more data is captured, and as recovery point objectives (RPOs – the amount of data loss) and recovery time objectives (RTOs – the amount of time that the application is offline) become more demanding.

Storage Switzerland is a proponent of using the cloud to cut the expense and hassle of DR, and at the same time to facilitate more rapid recovery. The enterprise does not need to worry about the cost and hassle of buying, deploying, managing, upgrading and capacity planning for a secondary DR site. Cloud compute cycles are also elastic and available on demand – which not only helps to cut costs but also means that they can be spun up quickly.

The merits of a DR-as-a-service (DRaaS) approach being acknowledged; naturally all DRaaS solutions are not created the same. Quality hardware is important when it comes to reliability and performance. IT professionals should also be cognizant of minimizing the time it takes to get applications back up and running when they declare a disaster recovery state. Finally, a premeditated strategy for failing back over to the production data center, once it is restored, is also important to cutting costs and maximizing application performance, but it is frequently an afterthought.

For additional insight into ensuring that your backup infrastructure can meet your most demanding recovery requirements, watch our on demand webinar with StorageCraft. All registrants receive an exclusive copy of our eBook, “Modernizing Data Protection Infrastructure.”

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Senior Analyst, Krista Macomber produces analyst commentary and contributes to a range of client deliverables including white papers, webinars and videos for Storage Switzerland. She has a decade of experience covering all things storage, data center and cloud infrastructure, including: technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her previous experience includes leading the IT infrastructure practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research, and leading market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

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