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If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail: How planning disaster recovery (DR) can make the difference between quickly stomping out a fire or going up in flames.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” While he probably wasn’t referring to unexpected disruption to a business’s IT systems, this mentality can surely be applied to how organizations should look at disaster recovery (DR). Planning can make the difference between quickly stomping out a fire or going up in flames.

Disasters come in many forms, whether that be from natural disaster, technical failure, human error, or malicious action, the result is still unplanned downtime and the need for recovery.

According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster, filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately.

Traditionally, differences in resources and planning depth have allowed some organizations to be better prepared for disasters than others. Larger enterprises have gone to lengths to completely replicate their core data center infrastructure and running active/active or active/passive redundancy to a capable secondary data center. This strategy, while ultimately effective, is extremely expensive and in many cases not necessary.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a service model that provides DR capabilities via the use of a third-party cloud environment, whereby all the disaster recovery functionality, including orchestration, are provided as-a-service. Since DRaaS does not require a dedicated, physical secondary data center, nor trained IT staff, it’s generally available at a lower cost than do-it-yourself solutions. With DRaaS, operating system, system state configuration, databases, applications, and files are continuously replicated into a low-cost cloud staging area. In the event of a disaster, the entire infrastructure can be quickly restored in the cloud. Thus, business operations can be resumed with this new, temporary, infrastructure.

Important Concepts
Two primary concepts drive a DRaaS solution: the amount of data loss and the amount of downtime. Key performance indicators are:

  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RPO refers to a company’s loss tolerance: the amount of data that can be lost before significant harm to the business occurs. The objective is expressed as a time measurement from the loss event to the most recent preceding backup.
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO). RTO extends forward from a disruptive event; it refers to how much time an application can be down without causing significant damage to the business. Some applications can be down for days without significant consequences. Some high-priority applications can only be down for a few seconds without incurring employee irritation, customer anger and lost business. The RTO mission is to categorize applications by priority and potential business loss and match your resources accordingly. DRaaS keeps your mission-critical applications operational and your business running. As an upgrade from traditional backup-only products, leveraging prepared run books, continuous replication of source systems, and automatically testing failover, DRaaS enables Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) of seconds. Automated machine conversion and orchestration enable Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) of minutes.

Presidio has a proven track record of excellence in partnering to implement and support disaster recovery environments. Presidio has developed a strict methodology for end-to-end implementation of DRaaS projects. This methodology ensures that we deliver a quality disaster recovery solution. Contact Presidio Managed Services today to discuss how we can help you reduce downtime and protect against data loss while decreasing your total cost of ownership for your disaster recovery solution.

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