The term disaster recovery can sometimes invoke images of Hollywood disaster movies, alien invasions and other far-fetched situations not realistic to the real world – and as a result its importance to real world scenarios can get lost in the noise.
As the value of business data continues to grow, protecting that data and ensuring that you can quickly and efficiently recover it is becoming more important than ever. Yet in an interview of over 1,000 IT staff and executives, it was found that 69% of companies are unprepared for a ransomware attack, only 25% have natural disaster plans in place, and on a more day-to-day level, more than two thirds of those surveyed estimated that their business has access to a maximum of 50% of the data that would be useful in making key decisions.
In this article we look at some of the noise surrounding disaster recovery, whether it is justified, and the vital components of an effective disaster recovery plan for your business to meet modern demands.
Why prepare for the unlikely?
Given that this is an article about disaster recovery, it’s rich of us to say that there is too much written about disaster recovery, but we’ll overlook that for a moment!
Our point is that there are some wild theories and somewhat ‘innovative’ sales tactics for disaster recovery solutions, and this level of noise runs the danger of the actual important message being lost in the din – disaster recovery is not about far-fetched scenarios such as alien invasions or the next ice age. If one of those situations were ever to occur, it’s probably that we’d all have slightly different priorities anyway!
How about the real world?
So while those scenarios are obviously exaggerated (and there may even have been sightings of them online), they can obviously be brushed off as scaremongering. But real and effective disaster recovery plans are designed to take into account everything from natural disasters, hardware failures, data breaches, hackers or other ransomware attacks on your business, or even something as seemingly innocuous as an unauthorised change in your data centre.
Even taking out the relatively unlikely threat of natural disasters being of sufficient scale to disrupt business operations, the other threats can all be considered real and very much possible on a day-to-day basis.
These are just a few of the scenarios disaster recovery strategies prepare a business for, and a well implemented plan can avoid unnecessary financial and reputational damage in the increasingly likely event that one or more of these occurs.
Are your ducks in a row?
For all the hype around disaster recovery, for us a strong disaster recovery plan comes down to three essential ingredients.
- Efficiency – minimise the cost of downtime by aligning your recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) with service level agreements
- Simplicity – the protection of multiple data locations and sources against a variety of threats through a single and scalable solution
- Flexibility – an effective plan must include the ability to recover data, virtual machines and applications to and from multiple platforms wherever they are physically located
All-in-all, an effective disaster recovery plan is about having the ability to continuously replicate data from business systems to a cloud platform in the event of a disaster. With this plan in place, customers can then invoke a pre-defined protocol which will allow them to remotely connect and access data even in the event of full-site disaster.