Disasters and accidents happen. Human errors, fires, floods, power outages, severed network connections, and other events can bring your data center to a sudden, screeching halt.

How prepared is your organization? If a disaster were to strike your data center, or a human error were to knock out critical elements of your IT environment, would you be able to continue to meet customer expectations and maintain employee productivity—without interruption?

Many organizations back up vital data. But implementing disaster recovery (DR) strategies is often a lower priority. Some IT groups are simply stretched too thin managing production and development environments. They lack the resources to replicate all of their production data and maintain a complete, redundant environment.

Other organizations have implemented DR strategies but are uncertain those strategies will actually work when the time comes. Maybe they offloaded older equipment to a secondary site as they deployed new production systems. They might have replicated virtual machines from production to that secondary environment but stopped short of updating firmware or maintaining patches. Using out-of-date, unsupported systems is unlikely to provide the seamless failover and resiliency required for business continuity. And without testing the environment, they won’t know for sure whether they’re actually prepared for worst-case scenarios.

Make Sure You’re Ready for the Worst

Ready to bolster your DR strategy—or finally implement your first plan? Here are three recommendations that can help improve the odds your organization will be able to effectively weather the next storm.

 

  1. Consider the cloud. Owning, managing, and maintaining a reliable secondary production environment for DR can be can be costly and time-consuming. Using the cloud can help you avoid large capital expenditures, reduce management costs, and minimize the time your IT administrators spend on a secondary environment.

Tapping into a public cloud can also give you access to the latest technologies. Cloud providers continuously invest in new technologies and keep new systems well maintained. Instead of hoping your end-of-life hardware and unpatched systems will hold up in a crisis, you can gain the confidence that your cloud-based environment can function effectively, just like your production environment.

 

  1. Supplement your resources. Need a few extra pairs of hands? Choosing a DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution can remove significant administrative burdens from your internal team. Working with a DRaaS solution provider relieves your team of having to design, deploy, test, and maintain the DR environment.

The right DRaaS solution provider will also have experts available the instant a serious event occurs to help you minimize downtime. They’ll be ready to ensure your applications fail over successfully and rapidly. With the right assistance, you can meet your service-level agreements and your users can continue to access needed applications and data.

 

  1. Validate, audit, and test. There’s no point in implementing a DR strategy that might not operate when you need it. Once you have a secondary environment in place, you need to validate that it works. You might have an application group that includes a web frontend, application, and database. In the event of a disaster or serious accident, all three elements must successfully failover and then come back online in the right order to minimize interruptions for users.

Going forward, you need to regularly audit and test your DR environment to ensure its integrity, accuracy, and efficiency. You must be able to conduct real-world tests without disrupting current users.

Protect Your Business with CenturyLink

CenturyLink SafeHaven DRaaS can help you implement a robust, cloud-based DR strategy while controlling costs and complexity. Capitalize on the benefits of the cloud by choosing CenturyLink Cloud or selecting from major public cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Rely on CenturyLink to provide the supplemental resources you need for implementation, monitoring, optimization, auditing, testing, and at-time-of-disaster services. Choose a self-service option or a managed solution for turnkey service.

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