Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can be an effective solution to combat downtime and achieve IT availability. If approached in the right way, it can provide comprehensive proof of recovery to stakeholders and most importantly, increase your availability during an event.
1. Disaster Recovery is More Than Insurance
IT Disaster Recovery (DR) is an investment to protect your business. The reality is that interruptions to your business will happen and it’s best to have a plan to minimize the impact. In an age where being offline is unacceptable, a proactive approach is needed to keep downtime from occurring in the first place. That is why it’s important to view recovery from the perspective of IT availability.
Disaster Recovery Focus
- Invest in an “insurance policy”
- React to downtime and events
- Rely on backups to store data
- Treat DR and security separately
- Recover in hours to days
- Emphasis on technical infrastructure
- Develop minimal process and reporting
- Emphasis on avoiding “catastrophes”
IT Availability Focus
- Invest in ability to serve clients
- Be proactive to minimize risk
- Failover and failback for continuous service
- Secure recovery to protect data
- Recover in minutes to hours
- Emphasis on serving end users
- Process-driven and documented
- Emphasis on continuous improvement
“In the event of a malicious attack, a company should have systems in place to keep operational or at least backups where the company is not affected or very slightly affected. In the event of a total disruption of the business, it is too late to mitigate and you will likely see dramatic costs to the business, especially small or mid-sized businesses. Being proactive rather than reactive is the key.”
– Braden Perry: Partner, Kennyhertz Perry, LLC
2. Gain Company-Wide Investment
Having all stakeholders (executives, directors, managers, board members, etc.) equally invested in your recovery strategy will ensure you receive the proper resources. Aim to have a company-wide agreement that a proactive approach to your company’s IT systems is necessary to ensure continuous operations. With this level of commitment, you will always have the resources you need to recover, plus prioritized attention on availability.
DR has evolved from a view of insurance to a corporate priority. However, a recent survey shows those removed from the implementation of DR are overconfident in their IT team’s ability to execute. To answer the disconnect, this white paper examines the motivations behind adopting Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to protect data assets and empower business objectives.
3. Cover All Applications at the Right Level
Sometimes companies over-invest in technology, replicating everything and making their recovery more expensive than needed. Others do the opposite and are more vulnerable to downtime by under-investing.
DR is never a one-size-fits-all approach. The goal is to assess each application and match it to the right recovery technology. Taking a tiered approach ensures you receive the right recovery level for your budget.
Organizing applications into tiers of recovery by their level of urgency enables the right focus during an event. With this goal in mind, Recovery Waves go a step further. They define the order in which those applications, within each specific tier, should return to service. Learn more about our unique “Recovery Waves” process in this blog post.
4. Combine High-Availability with DR
High availability technology is great for instantaneous RTOs on local issues like hardware failures or data corruption. But these technologies often need to be physically near each other to work. To plan ahead for non-local issues, pair your high availability technology with your DR plan to ensure continuous service. To cover the full range of disruptions, have the two working together.
5. Plan for Multiple Causes of Downtime
Many organizations tend to think DR planning is protecting your business against environmental disasters. When in fact, environmental causes are among the least-likely causes of downtime.
Avoid leaving your business vulnerable by planning for a wide range of potential events. After all, the purpose of DR is to plan for the recovery of your data and applications, no matter what the scenario. For example, you don’t want to spend all of your resources building a tornado-proof datacenter only to have your data corrupted by a security breach.
Below are some examples of common interruptions:
6. Test Regularly and Differently
For confidence in recovery, you should know how your DR environment will perform during an event. It’s important to test often and for different scenarios. Be sure to plan for instances where your IT team will not be available.
Testing once a year doesn’t take into account the changes that might occur to your production environment, which can affect your ability to recover at any given point in time. The more often you test, the more you’ll understand how your DR plan will perform. Listen to this podcast episode for more tips on effective DR testing.
7. Leverage All of Your Resources
If you have a datacenter in a separate regional location from your business, why not use it to store your replicated data? Likewise, if you are running tape backups, it’s best to use them to complement your DRaaS solution for long-term data retention. This ensures complete recovery of your data and efficient use of your budget. Similarly, pairing your cloud strategy and resiliency program together can reduce overall costs while ensuring continuity of operations.
8. Ensure Proof for Constituents
If your company is receiving pressure to prove your DR plan to constituents—whether it’s auditors, regulators, clients, board members or investors—it can be tough to give them the evidence they need. Oftentimes, these stakeholders are looking for unbiased, third-party proof.
A DRaaS provider has the ability to offer tangible, third-party validation of a DR strategy. When you talk with a vendor, be sure to ask what this evidence will look like and how they will deliver it. A good DRaaS provider will provide several types of evidence (such as signed certificates of testing, a playbook and a dashboard for real-time analytics).
9. Pick the Right DRaaS Provider
When selecting a DRaaS provider, it’s important to consider not only their recovery technologies, but their operational maturity and expertise. Look for a provider with both the technology you need and a culture that’s matched to your business objectives.
InterVision’s flexible and proactive approach to DRaaS ensures organizations receive complete confidence in their systems availability and data protection so IT teams can focus on other, more pressing business initiatives. We can deliver our DRaaS and BaaS solutions using any cloud location, such as AWS and Azure.
InterVision is honored to be named a “Leader” in the 2019 Forrester Wave for Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service. The Forrester Wave is a trusted, unbiased analyst resource for organizations looking to invest in Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service. Access a complementary copy, courtesy of InterVision.