“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst & anticipate being surprised”
And though we’re quite familiar with the wise quote, it isn’t something new and seems to fit perfectly when dealing with disaster recovery and business continuity services in the modern world of corporate IT. To ensure business continuity during man-made and natural disaster seems quite a challenge. We’re lucky having cloud platforms that suit well with corporate disaster recovery needs.
However, the multipurpose and distributed nature of cloud remains unexploited with lack of a proper and well-tested disaster recovery (DR) plan as well as the ability adapting to the change and often unexpected circumstances. Here, we’ll look at some best practices for utilising cloud for development and deployment of the DR plan to streamline business continuity services.
Difference between DR & backups
When it comes to DR, having current backups of the company’s data/information is crucial. But, it’s important understanding that just scheduling regular backups isn’t enough, rather a fragment of much larger process.
After all, what’s good a backup if you haven’t access to the information when urgently needed! And when disaster strikes, you need a comprehensive and well-tested process in place for retrieving and restoration of the company’s data backup.
Identification of critical data & cross-regional backups
Regular backups are crucial for almost any DR plan but with most things in IT world, there’re adjustments between time and money. This is the reason as to why it’s important identifying mission-critical data and applications when developing a backup strategy as part of the larger DR plan. How you choose the data, where and how it’ll be stored such as snapshots, machine images and so on matters most. When prioritising data and how to store it, also pay attention to where it’ll be stored which is another important factor of business continuity services. Store the backups at places geographically in close proximity to the production environment thereby reducing even the slightest chances of disasters. Utilising global reach of cloud computing is essential to empower data protection.
Determine your RPO & RTO
Speaking about time versus money, determining company’s Recovery Time Objective (RTO) alongside the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is significantly important. Here, RTO is the maximum time a disaster recovery process takes without bearing any monetary loss. On the contrary, the RPO is maximum data loss a company’s willing to accept and the answer to the question would determine how often a corporation can pay for backups.
Choose a particular DR method & assess the flaws
Now that you’ve finally determined the particular DR needs of the company, decide with particular approach makes most sense. While there’re many options depending on preference of money and time saving, here’re a few most common;
- Backup & restore
It’s a simple, cost-effective and clear method to back up and restore data per the need. Do remember that none of the data is on standby, the process can be quite time consuming yet cheap.
- Pilot light
The method keeps critical data and applications prepared in case quick retrieval is required.
- Warm standby
This particular method keep a copy of corporation’s core elements running on standby at all the times making little downtime and almost seamless transition.
- Multi-site purpose
Also referred to as Hot Standby, the method completely duplicates corporate applications between two or more active locations and splits traffic amongst them. In case disaster strikes, everything’s redirected to the unaffected area which means there’ll be zero downtime. However, cost incurred would be much higher due to running two separate environments simultaneously.
Consider potential advantages of DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service)
While DR is managed in house, many businesses are rapidly to intermediaries for implementation and maintenance of their DR plans. Much like insurance policies allowing businesses to reduce risk of financial and asset loss, DRaaS allow companies to focus on core issues while saving time and having just the peace of mind thereby keeping the data safe.
Business continuity services and DR goes hand-in-hand thereby empowering overall corporate strategies.