Answering Today's DR Requirements in the Cloud

Mike Grossman,CEO,Zetta
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Disaster recovery (DR) is a top CIO priority. In fact, according to Enterprise Strategy Group, improving data backup and restore is the second highest IT priority following security initiatives. Yet, according to IDC as many as 50 percent of organizations have inadequate DR plans and are at risk of going under following a significant disaster, if IT systems are deemed unrecoverable.

The customer pain is high, and downtime is costly and often unavoidable. IDC reports that the average cost of downtime is about 100,000 dollars an hour. The cost is lower but still significant for smaller businesses. While one hour of downtime might be something you can overcome, consider this: most organizations experience between 10 hours and 20 hours of downtime per year, even without a disaster event. That means that if you fall into this category, you could spend as much as 1 to 2 Mn dollars on a DR solution and still realize a one-year return on investment (ROI).

Clearly, most IT budgets don’t have 1 Mn dollars for a Disaster Recovery solution. But the need remains high, making DR a technology requirement you can’t ignore.

The rise of direct-to-cloud solutions make DR easier and more cost effective than ever. These solutions can offer robust performance and features without the high implementation cost. And, thanks to advancements in data transfer technologies, bigger data can now be securely replicated to a cloud-based datacenter with exceptional speed. If your primary server fails, you can instantly “spin up” a version of the server in the cloud and run operations just as you normally would by using the cloud-based version of your applications and data. Once your failed server is back online, you can easily restore your most current data from the cloud – all without suffering any data loss or wasting work time.

Four Essential Features for Cloud DR

If you’re considering a cloud-based DR solution, consider the following essential features. This will ensure that your new DR strategy is not only effective, but efficient as well.

1. Go Direct-to-Cloud without an Appliance

Many DR solutions require the installation of a physical appliance, which sits between your server and the cloud connection. This adds complexity and can cause bottlenecks in the recovery process because you’ll need to replace the appliance before your server can be restored. This can cost you valuable time in managing extra unnecessary hardware. Recovery in the event of a disaster should be fast, and direct-to-cloud recovery ensures that speed and simplicity.

2. Support Physical and Virtual Servers and Applications in the Cloud

Not all cloud-based DR solutions are built the same. When selecting your DR solution, opt for one that will run both physical and virtual servers and applications from the cloud without interruption to workflow. This will help you continue on with business as usual following a larger site disaster. It also assures that you can protect all of your workflows with ease, regardless of whether they are hosted on a physical server or virtual machine.

3. Avoid Hidden Costs

The idea that DR is a luxury that only larger enterprises can afford is a myth.  With the simplicity of a direct-to-cloud DR solution, companies of every size can easily protect all their applications and workloads efficiently and cost effectively. Select a cloud-based DR solution that offers a clear and affordable pricing model, so you can protect all of your vital business applications and unstructured files without breaking the bank.  

4. Meeting Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives

Recovering from a disaster isn’t valuable if you aren’t able to recover the most current set of your important data. Be sure that the cloud-based DR solution you rely on gives you access to the most recently backed up data, so that your recovery is not only quick and affordable, but useful as well. It’s also valuable to know how fast you need to be back in operation after a disruptive event. Evaluate all of the workloads you want to protect and evaluate how much data you can risk losing in a disaster (RPO) and how long you can withstand downtime (RTO). Be sure that the cloud-based DR solution you select meets your critical RPO and RTO requirements.

Disasters don’t have to equal downtime. Be prepared with a strategic approach to DR readiness by leveraging the power and efficiency of the cloud and have the peace of mind that your business is safe, come what may.

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