Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 17 | Page 36


Revisiting expensive business continuity plans

Disaster recover as a service is an innovative cloud approach to include in business continuity planning explains Mohamad Rizk at Veeam .

Unpredictability is a fact of life , and nature brings plenty of it . Be it flooding , fire or even earthquakes and hurricanes , businesses worldwide can be susceptible to a whole range of natural disasters . Unfortunately , business leaders normally do not think it will happen to them . They have insurance and believe that is the box ticked .

Whether it is caused by cataclysmic weather , technological malfunctions or human actions , an IT outage can be devastating . But businesses can be put off extensive disaster recovery plans by the perceived cost and complexity . That leaves many relying on outdated and untested processes , or worse , without any recovery plan in place at all .
Once upon a time , organisations relied on the old ten-mile rule , to work out the appropriate distance to store data backups . But with recent natural disasters impacting whole cities – or even whole countries – such rules are now redundant . In today ’ s ever-changing environment , businesses can take advantage of the cloud and Disaster Recovery as a Service , DRaaS to ensure that they are properly protected and always online .
Businesses can suffer from a whole range of issues when an outage strikes . At the lower end of the scale , there is the loss of employee productivity . This cost in itself can soon mount up , with Gartner estimating that firms lose on average US $ 5,600 for each minute of downtime .
But with the rise of digital , businesses are under more pressure than ever to deliver an always on service , as downtime can have serious consequences for their customers . Think back to UK bank TSB ’ s three-week outage in April 2018 .
Mohamad Rizk , Manager System Engineers , Middle East at Veeam .
Thousands of the bank ’ s customers reported issues ranging from fines levied on outstanding payments to accounts being drained by fraudsters .
Now there has been an eightfold increase in consumers leaving the bank , pushing it into a half-year loss , with a figure of £ 176.4 million attributed to the technology meltdown . All in all , the financial and reputational consequences of a disaster can be extensive .
Disaster recovery has often centred on off-site servers , or even tapes , depending on how far back you go . But now , cloud computing offers an excellent alternative to these traditional disaster recovery methods , be it using disaster recovery as a service from a service provider or simply putting backups in the cloud . Moreover , when an outage takes place businesses do not need to wait for on-premise servers to be recovered or incur the delays , and occasionally the risks of having IT teams travel in person to the recovery site .
DRaaS is a valuable cloud-based model . The approach delivers comprehensive disaster recovery by replicating a business ’ physical or virtual servers to provide failover . With DRaaS , business-critical applications can be up and running almost instantaneously after an incident .
Like other as a service models , DRaaS offers significant advantages for businesses of a range of sizes . The lower costs open up availability for smaller businesses , who could otherwise have struggled to implement such a service in-house . Equally , its scalability benefits the larger enterprises , whose needs might vary depending on the number of servers , applications and databases being used at any one time .
And whatever the size of the company , IT teams recover valuable time that might otherwise have been dedicated to backups . As a result , DRaaS is an increasingly popular option , with 25 % year on year growth predicted for the offering over the coming decade .
To develop the most appropriate strategy , and to evaluate the role of DRaaS , businesses must consider disaster recovery in the context of their overarching business strategy . The best place to start is with a business impact assessment .
It is important to work out which applications and business processes are most critical to keeping the business available all day , every day . Estimate the maximum amount of downtime the business can stand for each of these business processes before it fails . From