Three Recommendations to Ensure Your Enterprise Survives Critical Data Loss with Disaster Recovery Capabilities

From natural forces to cyber events to blackouts caused by worn infrastructure, disasters disrupt business, stop work, batter brand image and, worst of all, create data loss. Loss of critical business and customer information greatly damages enterprises no matter their size, from giant corporations to small businesses. For large enterprises, disasters can take days to recover and damage reputation beyond repair… For small enterprises that often lacking the personnel and budget to protect against risk, disasters may even put you out of business.

According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), roughly 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. To mitigate your risks, disaster recovery experts recommend that enterprises develop both an emergency response procedure and business continuity plans. In addition, you need to immediately report losses, review insurance coverage, collect critical contact information, create a communications strategy and, most importantly, ensure that records and data are backed up.

No one-size-fits-all solutions exist for your business. Here are three recommendations for enterprises to quickly achieve Disaster Recovery capabilities that fit your needs:

1 – Partner with an effective and reliable Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)  

For any small, medium or large business, a DRaaS provides a quick, safe Disaster Recovery solution. With a DRaaS, your enterprise expands IT personnel, resources and DR capabilities as needed – without investing in its own offsite DR location. Your DRaaS replicates or hosts your physical and virtual servers to provide backup in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Since it’s an offsite vendor, it’s less likely to be impacted by your disaster circumstance. Your data doesn’t have to be recovered via the Internet, so applications can be restored without delay. You get failover to a cloud computing environment and immediately putting your Disaster Recovery plan into action – even during total business stoppage!

2 – Choose and set up your Disaster Recovery options for RTO and RPO needs

Make sure to take a close look at your company to understand what it really needs before deciding which DR strategy to implement. Each company requires a Disaster Recovery solution that fits its needs. First, familiarize yourself with two key Disaster Recovery metrics:

  1. Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – How much time an application can be down without significantly harming the business. For example, a lower RTO is critical for seasonal retail businesses. But more than the time duration between data loss and recovery, RTO also defines what IT must do to restore the application and its data.
  2. Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – How much time is acceptable to lose data before significantly damaging the business. A shorter RPO is crucial for customer-facing applications. The RPO number decides how frequent data replication should be.

Choose the Data Recovery option that meets your RTO and RPO needs:

  • Active-active – Also known as synchronous replication, this option provides a backup site that completely mirrors your own systems. Offering the best RTO, it is called “active-active” because both your production site and backup site are continually active in sharing the load, with the backup site gearing up in case of systems failure to minimize downtime and data loss. The failover is also automatic, not manual, saving valuable time. Downside: Higher cost, more complexity.

  • Active-passive – Also known as asynchronous replication, this option stores copies of your data offsite at another company location or the DRaaS data center. Offering the next best RTO/RPO and a lower cost solution, it continually duplicates data, and core activities at the primary site will resume right away. Downside: High equipment cost, some data loss.

Decide how to implement your chosen option by either:

  • Combined local and cloud backup – Many organizations moving to the cloud are transitioning from an existing on-premise data center. A less expensive option than cloud-cloud back-up, it maximizes the value of years of capital investments by repurposing the existing site to become the backup site.
  • Cloud backup only – Money-saving, time-saving and easy to implement, this option sends a copy of your data over the Internet to an off-site, DRaaS-hosted, secure server for easy access in case recovery is required. It offers respectable RTP/RPO numbers without having to invest heavily in redundant systems and increasing IT staff workload. Downside: Manual and slower, restoration process.

3 – Conduct Disaster Recovery testing

Disaster recovery goes beyond restoring data and keeping applications working. Whether yours is a small, medium, or large organization, it is critical to test your applications to ensure that they meet your RTO and RPO goals, a chain of communications has been established, and staff is ready. You also need to ensure that the business continues to meet its regulatory and compliance requirements. By conducting Disaster Recovery testing, you’re making sure that your DR plan actually works when a catastrophe does occur. Make sure that you work with your DRaaS partner to test regularly and thoroughly, set measurable reference points, and keep your DR team trained, alert, responsive and agile.

In summary: With these three recommendations, you can keep your business up and running at all times using an intelligent backup technology, a reliable DRaaS partner and a smart Disaster Recovery strategy.

Want help to protect your business from disruptions? With our proven systems expertise, you’ll get the fast, affordable, custom backup and data recovery solution your business needs – no matter its size. Our Disaster Recovery provides tailor-made, optimal protection in the cloud that ensures your business is up and running 24/7. Feel free to contact us to get started today.