What is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster Recovery scope varies according to context. It is often considered just an IT function. For the business owner, Disaster Recovery scope also must cover other aspects of the business affected, such as people and processes. These aspects of the business may need to change during and immediately after disaster recovery operations. Training and testing are also strong considerations for ensuring a comprehensive Disaster Recovery system. Although these other aspects are vitally important to implementing a Disaster Recovery plan, this post will focus on the IT aspects of Disaster Recovery.
For some, thoughts of Disaster Recover stirs negative energy. The subject of a disaster is not a pleasant one to begin with, and the negative energy can be further reinforced by thoughts of high cost of protection and the complexities of managing a DR system.
STRESS NOT! Disaster Recover does not have to be a stimulate of negative thoughts and emotions. If strategically planned, the process does not have to be daunting. With a well thought out plan in place and initial training and testing completed, you can begin to feel less stress about disaster than ever before, because you have protection against catastrophic consequences. A qualified IT MSP can guide you through these steps and help you find the solution that will work optimally for your company.
Are you still not convinced? Some negative things you have heard about Disaster Recovery may bother you. There are many myths about DR that we can dispel. Below is a brief listing of some of the Disaster Recovery Myths that commonly circulate. With some accurate information on the subject, you can begin to give less credence to these myths, and remove some of the negative thinking that may be causing you to procrastinate your research into viable DR options.
Disaster Recovery is Expensive to Install and Maintain
Prior to the Cloud era, DR systems were indeed expensive to install and maintain, particularly if you wanted more than just a back-up server, but a system that allowed for quick and complete recovery with minimal downtime. That required a significant investment in hardware and software that is not necessary with the virtual capabilities that exist today.
There are many different options to choose from that have an impact on cost and operation. For example, you can get charged with DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) for five cost categories. Those are storage cost, bandwidth cost, RAM cost, computing cost, and licensing fees for backup software. Some DR providers charge a monthly fee for all 5 regardless of use. Others charge the monthly fee only for storage and software licensing, and only charge for the other fees when used (active vs passive status). Some providers own their backup software so can offer that monthly fee discounted or free. Another cost lever is how quickly you want your data restored. Systems can be configured to restore in minutes whereas others are designed to restore in a few hours. It is possible to get DRaaS for less than the cost of typical cloud based backup services.
Only Natural Disasters Cause Massive IT Data Loss
There are many other causes of data loss, including malware attacks, accidental file deletion, loss of hardware (e.g. laptops), etc. As long as humans are involved, there is always a risk of human error induced data loss.
All Disaster Recovery Products Are Similar
There are many different features and combinations of features available for Disaster Recovery. Some of these are highlighted in the discussion on cost (item #1). A Disaster Recovery plan can be customized to give you what you need and nothing more. Some backup software works only with virtualization software, whereas others are more flexible and can back up physical appliances as well. Additionally there are variances in setup, testing, administration and monitoring.
Quick Recovery Requires a Warm Data Site
A warm data site is a situation where there are duplicate servers that constantly backup up the main server data. This situation is indeed expensive to install and maintain. Fortunately, we now can achieve warm site level performance via virtual systems with the cloud, and at a fraction of the cost.
Downtime is Not That Expensive
The cost of downtime is always greater than the company’s operating cost while waiting for restoration. There is a cost associated with failure to deliver on time to customers and partners, in the form of business reputation.
If you are not already operating with an optimized Disaster Recover system, this might be a good time to make a realistic assessment of your company’s exposure to the consequences of data loss. Downtime and the loss of production, increases cost of production and profits, and can damage your company’s reputation for on time delivery. A good IT MSP can help you with a realistic assessment of the quality of your Disaster Recovery plan, and can formulate a strategic plan to improve it as needed.