With days growing shorter and the holiday season upon us, it’s time to reflect on the challenges and opportunities we faced in 2016. This analysis is particularly effective as enterprises align for a new IT reality fueled by the digital transformation. And with business success counting on optimal performance and reliability of these infrastructures, Disaster Recovery is moving to the top of holiday wish lists.
This topic was highlighted extensively at our most recent expert roundtable held in conjunction with Spiceworks: “Preventing Holiday Disaster with DR Strategy.” I had the opportunity to join this roundtable discussion along with Roger Freixa from our partner, VMWare. The fact is, IT infrastructures today are more complex than ever before – and the risk of failure is growing exponentially. According to The Ponemon Institute, the cost of IT downtime is more than $11,000 per minute for enterprises where the data center is core to the business. This amount is approximately twice the original cost estimate made in 2010.
With so much at stake, it’s not surprising that Business Continuity initiatives are keeping CIOs up at night. As outlined in our recent discussion, effective disaster planning must begin with comprehensive business impact analysis. More than a technology-based decision, initiatives start by mapping infrastructures and applications – along with business services impacted by these interdependencies. The best Disaster Recovery initiatives understand which applications are most critical to ongoing service and later rank protection schemes.
Unfortunately, the barriers to adoption are often prohibitive – with custom recovery solutions difficult to use and costly to deploy. There’s also an issue of data sovereignty – ensuring both security and compliance of stored information. But as agreed upon by this roundtable of experts, getting started isn’t necessarily that difficult. While traditional offsite failover strategies are certainly effective, newer solutions like Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) protect against disruption – but with a lower total cost of ownership and the strictest benchmarks for security and compliance.
Cloud services can produce recovery solutions with compliance and certification in mind, as provider environments are required to match many of these same industry benchmarks. Strong “as-a-service” solutions additionally facilitate deployment and recovery by incorporating encryption on disk and during transport, key management, and automated reports. Many also package full Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) estimates to quickly analyze the most optimal recovery strategy. Finally, disaster planning doesn’t end with deployment. Full reliability and availability of business assets demands regular testing – both at the infrastructure and application level.
Entering the New Year, IT environments will only become more complex as businesses strive to attain the highest levels of reliability and efficiency. And as CIOs make their list of IT priorities (and check them twice), now’s the time to give disaster recovery and business continuity the attention it deserves.