How are You Planning for IT Disaster Recovery?
By Tony Messerschmidt
When you think about IT disaster recovery, you may think about major catastrophic events like fires or floods. But “disaster” can refer to almost anything that disrupts your business processes, whether it’s a computer virus, a snowstorm, a power failure, or even human error.
What will you do if your organization suddenly loses some of its most valuable data? Do you know how and when (or if) you’ll get it back? Many studies indicate that the majority of small and medium-sized businesses don’t have IT disaster recovery plans in place.
Once you know how you’ll reclaim your data in the event of a disaster, it’s also important to define your RTO (recovery time objective). This measurement pinpoints the amount of time your organization can survive without access to systems or data – without a negative business impact – and it’s different for everyone. What’s that number for you? A few hours? A few minutes? The type of work you do will likely help you determine your RTO. In a healthcare setting, for example, downtime could lead to the inability to access the healthcare information system, which serves as the lifeblood of healthcare services. How long could you function without it?
Then think about how much data you can actually stand to lose. How much of your organization’s data do you need to recover to avoid negative business impacts? Or how much data can you afford to recreate and/or recapture later? This is known as RPO (recovery point objective).
Deciding how much downtime you can withstand – and then how much data you can afford to lose – will help you establish your IT disaster recovery plan.
Options for IT Disaster Recovery
Remember earlier when we mentioned that planning only for major weather events is an outdated way of thinking? So is the traditional method of backing up data to ensure IT disaster recovery. Whether that involves putting data on tapes and storing them offsite or investing in a redundant site, there are methods of protecting data that require less time and fewer resources.
Just like many other technology solutions, like AV and security, IT disaster recovery is being transformed into a service offering that shifts labor and data-storage burdens to someone else – and not you or your team!
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) simplifies IT disaster recovery and makes the data-backup process more manageable. It provides 24/7, real-time backup vs. incremental backups throughout the week and full backups on weekends. It also streamlines budgeting and expenses by reducing the need for things like:
- Secondary data center space and associated power, cooling, and internet expenses
- Additional servers, storage, tapes, and network equipment
- Dedicated manpower for IT disaster recovery maintenance and operations
Through the cloud, DRaaS replicates and backs up your environment, including data and applications, while also serving as a secondary infrastructure. As your primary system is being investigated and repaired, users are seamlessly transferred to a secondary environment so they can continue their mission-critical tasks without interruption.
Older IT disaster recovery models required you to scale your solution based on how much data you needed to backup. With DRaaS, however, you receive virtually unlimited storage capacity and pay only for what you need instead of over-purchasing and investing in a system you expect to grow into in a few years.
Embark can help you set up an IT disaster recovery solution that will meet your RTO and RPO objectives and eliminate concerns about not being able to access and recover your data when something happens.
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