It still amazes me that organizations are suffering longer than necessary interruptions to the availability of business critical systems; not because they have an inadequate backup infrastructure, but because they failed to consider the process of recovery when designing and implementing their data protection strategy. It is not until they have a failure that they realize the true impact their backup system has on the organizations ability to generate revenue or provide a service!
For many years the data protection infrastructure focused on the speed of backup, how quickly and with how little impact could an organization generate a copy of the data. Could it get that copy away from the source, and keep it for the “required” length of time? The focus was on “can we recover” our business in the event of a failure, rather than “how quickly can we recover” our business.
In today’s world more applications are critical to a company’s success, and any lack of availability in that service is very visible not just to the employees, but increasingly to the customers. Online services generate revenue or provide an essential line of communication to the customer base, and an outage not only impacts the bank balance it damages reputations, and the latter is much harder to recover from.
As with all things “IT” there are many ways to increase the availability of the application, many are focused on physical failure of the systems, less are focused on the logical corruption of the data, and very few are capable of all round protection. Some will be relevant to an organization, and others physically not suited to the environment.
The speed of recovery should be the starting point for any organization planning or re-evaluating their disaster recovery needs, or perhaps it should be the reason to begin to re-evaluate their plans, as a lot of companies are still relying on procedures deployed when their data was smaller, and their systems not so visible. So with the summer holidays over, perhaps now is the time to get back to school and learn about the latest technologies for increasing the availability of your companies systems.