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Over the last couple of years there have been huge advances in Disaster Recovery solutions. DR capabilities that are simpler and more cost effective are being built into platforms, included with Backup technologies or in many cases, come bundled with the applications themselves.
These innovations, combined with the ability to leverage Cloud as a DR target, means that organizations that previously thought a true DR solution was out of reach, now have options. Those that have an existing DR solution may be able to implement a better one, include more applications and data, recover faster with less data loss, all while lowering costs and reducing the amount of time spent maintaining the DR solution.
With so many affordable options available, we find clients can focus too much on the technology and rush to implement, without doing the upfront work necessary to develop a Disaster Recovery strategy that doesn’t just check a box but actually meets the business objectives.
Here are some key considerations that apply regardless of the solutions implemented or whether the target is in the cloud or private. This is by no means a complete list but more some of the highlights.
Using DRaaS or a cloud DR target doesn’t change the need to have a well thought out plan, with established policies and procedures.
Think about how long you may end up running out of DR. A day, a week, a month.
Having firmly established the requirements, you can start evaluating the options and thinking through the technical aspects.
How do you want to handle Replication and Failover?
How will you orchestrate everything if you end up using multiple approaches? You have one solution for your virtual environment, another for physical servers and a third for NAS.
Networking – This is where much of the complexity is introduced. Users still need access to the services and Data. If you plan to support partial failover, how does this change the network?
What about failback? Failover is great, how will you return? This may not be as simple as it seems.
How will you test DR and with what frequency? Will you do partial or full tests? How does testing impact production? Again, how will networking be handled during testing?
New Disaster Recovery solutions and options have dramatically lowered the price and reduced the amount of effort required to implement and maintain the DR environment. It’s greatly simplified but not necessarily simple. Most organizations still operate with a mix of modern and legacy infrastructure which means more than one DR solution may be required. Prescriptive helps organizations work through these options and develop the most appropriate strategy including the people, processes policies and products.