THOMSON REUTERS ELITE

Q4 2015 EDITION

Forefront
 

The Nine Myths of Disaster Recovery

If the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters investigated, they’d find there are many misconceptions around the category of disaster recovery—myths that create a false sense of security for many businesses. IT professionals are often asked to justify decisions when it comes to data protection and disaster recovery. Though we couldn’t get MythBusters to bust disaster recovery myths, we decided to help the IT department out by dispelling some of the most common misconceptions surrounding IT resiliency ourselves. Why? So IT can get the budget and support it needs to protect the business. Here are nine of the most common myths of disaster recovery, busted!

1. Natural Disasters Are the Biggest Concern When It Comes to IT Interruptions

While hurricanes, blizzards, and fires make the headlines, manmade disasters occur at a much higher rate with equally devastating effects. These disasters include unintentionally infecting computers with malware, deleting files by accident, forgetting laptops at airports or in taxis, or even unplugging the wrong cable in the data center.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Make sure you have the right technology in place to combat the most common forms of IT outages to avoid business interruption. Can you quickly recover deleted files? If a server crashes, is it easy to rapidly get an image spun up locally or in the Cloud?

2. Proper Protection Requires Multiple Products

WRONG! When it comes to data recovery, the use of multiple different solutions hinders the IT department’s ability to recover quickly. In fact, according to our “State of IT Recovery” survey, 91% of small to medium-sized businesses reported challenges with using multiple backup and recovery tools. Going for a single solution that covers all of your business recovery needs is a better bet for most organizations.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Make a list of all data protection and recovery tools in use at the firm, from backup and server replication to deduplication and other recovery technologies. You might be surprised with what you find. And you should be happy to know there are solutions out there which can help consolidate the myriad of products into a single integrated platform, saving you money and giving you a better alternative to protecting and recovering data and applications.

3. Full Disaster Recovery Testing Is Expensive and Affects Production environments.

A common myth is that disaster recovery testing is cost prohibitive. Leveraging cloud-based disaster recovery solutions, companies can perform disaster recovery tests in sandbox environments, separate from production systems, in a short amount of time. That means zero risk and zero incremental cost to ensure that your business is protected.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Investigate cloud-based disaster recovery solutions (also called Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, or DRaaS for short) that allow you to create ”virtual sandboxes” of your key systems and that enable easy disaster recovery testing.

4. Backup of Critical Data Is Enough

Unfortunately, having a backup of your critical data doesn’t guarantee business continuity. You need access to the infrastructure that runs your applications (servers, applications, databases, etc.) to support continued IT operations. A backup of the data isn’t useful if no one can access it.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Review your current disaster recovery strategy and ensure that you can, at least for Tier 1 applications, quickly spin up (i.e. failover) servers when they crash so that the data and applications can be accessed no matter when or from where.

5. We Have Servers Replicated, So We Are Safe

Implementing redundancy in your network environment for application servers and SANs is an outdated way to save money. It is still costly (duplicate hardware and software), not scalable, and incomplete. If you replicate servers in the same environment, you won’t be able to bring the replicated servers online.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Look at the current cost and effort required to maintain a replicated environment, then compare it to the cost and ease of use of cloud-based disaster recovery solutions (DRaaS). You may be surprised with your findings.

6. A Few Hours of Downtime Won’t Cost Us That Much

Are you sure? Understanding the true cost of application downtime and IT interruption is the first step in budgeting for a practical disaster recovery initiative. Every company is different, so calculate your cost of downtime by using Axcient’s online calculator. And, in addition to the hard costs of downtime, you need to consider the impact on your customers and partners and how that will affect your business reputation.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Go to axcient.com/downtime for an easy and free online calculator that helps you identify how much each hour of IT outage and business interruption costs your firm.

7. A Secondary Disaster Site Is for theLargeEnterprise, Not My Mid-sized Business

Small and mid-sized organizations are the ones that suffer the most when it comes to IT interruption. While traditional secondary disaster recovery sites can cost well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and be difficult to manage, cloud-based solutions now give SMBs a ”data center on-demand” approach that cuts those costs dramatically and ensures you can continue to operate.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Whether your firm already has or is planning on investing in a secondary disaster recovery site, is it worth looking at cloud-based disaster recovery solutions which can provide the same, if not higher, levels of recovery at much lower costs.

8. Disaster Recovery Is an IT Function

Disaster recovery is a business function. It goes beyond recovering your technology environment. It encompasses your processes and people. It is the responsibility of your senior management, regardless of function, to give input and sponsor a comprehensive disaster recovery plan and employee training to ensure your entire business can successfully weather any storm, or hardware or software failure.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Involve the senior team in discussing disaster recovery processes and strategy, making it clear it is not just an IT problem, but rather it involves people and processes. Ask for help from a professional services organization if needed to facilitate internal discussions.

9. You Can Only Achieve Very Fast (Minutes) Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) with “Warm Site” Data Centers

In the pre-cloud era, companies had to build fully replicated sites that would house an exact copy of their IT environment. Fast forward to today’s cloud-enabled DRaaS solutions like Axcient, which gives you a complete mirror of your IT environment in the Cloud, and you can achieve warm-site capabilities and RTOs for a fraction of the cost.

Myth Busted! Now What?: Time to rethink your recovery goals and what your current data protection and recovery infrastructure allows. Tape backups can be cheap but won’t help you recover fast enough. Server replication is enticing until you realize the cost and maintenance requirements. Look for cloud providers that can give you the security, flexibility, and recovery times objectives you need.

Conclusion

However they originate, myths are myths. And most are created in order to cover knowledge gaps in a particular category or sphere of influence. These days, implementing a complete business continuity / disaster recovery process isn’t an insurance policy. It’s a business requirement and a strategic advantage.


Axcient

Axcient's Recovery-as-a-Service cloud eliminates data loss, keeps applications up and running, and makes sure that IT infrastructures never go down. Axcient replaces legacy backup, business continuity, disaster recovery and archiving products, with a single integrated platform that mirrors an entire business in the cloud, making it simple to restore data, failover applications, and virtualize servers or an entire office with a click. Click here for more information.

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