The increasing importance of implementing fool-proof disaster recovery

Mike Puglia Chief Strategy Officer at Kaseya

It is the unfortunate truth that preventing every disaster scenario thrown a business’ way is impossible. After all, who can predict Mother Nature, human error or the ignorance of users? Although unpreventable, it is possible, and vital, for businesses to prepare for the subsequent recovery – no matter the cause of downtime.

The impact of losing applications and data can be catastrophic. Without proper disaster recovery, businesses can grind to a halt and on ongoing business operations can be severely affected. Yet, despite this, many firms are struggling to implement an effective backup and recovery strategy with our recent survey revealing that 30% of organisations still experience data loss. Sadly, it seems that there is still much work to be done to help organisations successfully implement and leverage backup and disaster recovery solutions and best practices. Even among those with disaster recovery strategies, we find that many are guilty of using multiple backup solutions to secure their IT environments which often means a variety of tools to understand, manage and verify. This is likely to lead to increased operational complexity and risk as issues are more likely to be missed.

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It is my view that there is nothing more critical than your data. Once satisfied with simple file or folder backups, we are now seeing an increased demand for robust backup recovery systems. These robust backup systems are vital to ensure business continuity and security, with a direct correlation between deploying an optimal backup and disaster recovery solution and maximising uptime. With businesses recognising the importance of disaster recovery, we’re seeing greater adoption of more robust backup software which covers the full spectrum of processes needed for business continuity and disaster recovery. These solutions are vital to ensure businesses are secure, rather than just allowing for the recovery of deleted files.

It is vital that organisations implement disaster recovery software solutions that do not just recover files but also help secure the business’ very future. Organisations must implement one software solution across all areas of disaster recovery to minimise both the time and knowledge needed to perform backups and any subsequent recoveries. Arguably, the best disaster recovery solutions should be fool-proof and easily implemented even by somebody who doesn’t have prior knowledge of how to do so.

When it comes to finding and implementing a software solution, businesses must identify the risks to their business and then determine the resource they can allocate to performing backups. For example, whether they will take control of the backup process in-house or outsource. It is vital that backups are performed regularly. Fortunately, many solutions perform automated backups on a daily or weekly basis as determined by the user which allow businesses to rest assured that the means of disaster recovery are regularly being taken care of. These solutions also have the added advantage of giving organisations a better overview of all the systems within their IT infrastructure and how long it would take them to get back up and running following an outage.

For businesses with a directory server, a file server or an application server that is running some line of business software, losing that application could result in your business grinding to a halt for some time. The implications of this can be extensive for the business, particularly if it is customer-facing. For instance, if a company experiences a significant outage in service or loss of data, it can have a devastating effect on customer retention. For end users, an IT disaster is unacceptable and could cause them to switch suppliers. It is therefore far less expensive for businesses to prevent or recover quickly from a disaster than to regain lost customers as the result of one.

Within the Managed Service Provider market, in particular, we are seeing a lot of excitement about this sort of software. For these businesses, disaster recovery presents the next growth opportunity and allows them to give businesses a wider range of options to best suit their needs.

As businesses continue to deal with increasingly large volumes of data, they must recognise the need to sufficiently protect it. Data is arguably the most valuable asset an organisation has and failing to prepare an effective disaster recovery strategy is, in essence, preparing to fail. Therefore, it is vital for businesses understand their requirements and arm themselves with the right disaster recovery solutions. The ability to respond quickly and effectively to any data losses or downtime and minimise the impact on their operations must not be overlooked.