Disaster recovery: a necessity not a luxury

Many of today’s vital business applications are susceptible to going offline. This can be as a result of human error, technology failures or a cyber attack, but regardless of the cause, the negative effects of downtime remain the same. While this threat can be mitigated by the implementation of a disaster recovery (DR) solution, all too often, it takes the occurrence of downtime to prompt strategic investment.

So why wait to suffer the consequences of downtime, when pre-emptive installment of DR technology could mitigate the problem?

In order for an organisation to recognise the importance of disaster recovery and implement a successful solution, there are three key components to fully understand.

The dangers of downtime

According to a report by the Ponemon Institute in 2016, the average cost of a data centre outage was $740,351. Though at the extreme end of the scale, this illustrates just how damaging downtime can be.

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The report also highlighted that damage to reputation, ‘customer churn’ and general business disruption was the major contributor to this cost. With data and online applications at the heart of a business, it is clear that the cost of downtime has, and will continue to increase exponentially. Without a successful disaster recovery plan in place, the financial damage incurred by downtime could be crippling to an organisation.

The benefits of disaster recovery

Implementing a disaster recovery plan enables businesses to run as normal if systems were to go offline. When downtime strikes and data is lost or inaccessible, DR allows businesses to recover vital company information as it has been replicated to a secondary environment.

Without a doubt, the key to recovering from downtime is speed. The sooner that normal service can resume, it is likely that the disruption to a business and its customers will be reduced. The best DR solutions can enable organisations to get their businesses back up and running by reverting to the last uncorrupted version of company data, allowing normal service to resume in a matter of minutes, as opposed to hours. This minimises the damage to a company as it saves time, money and can reduce the risk of losing customers.

Disaster recovery can be more than just software

Disaster recovery comes in many different shapes and sizes, but it is important to know that best solutions are those that offer disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). To deploy a successful solution, it requires constant management, testing and maintenance to ensure it is working effectively. For businesses that don’t have a specialised IT department, this means entrusting your data to a third party provider.

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As a starting point, organisations should look for a provider that can guarantee high levels of technical support. Downtime could occur at any time and in the event of a problem, it is vital that a knowledgeable member of the support staff is available.

This means that a technical engineer is on hand to oversee the recovery of all vital data, ensuring that the process runs smoothly and any negative consequences are successfully mitigated.

It is also important for businesses to select a provider that could offer support if the physical primary storage is compromised. Data isn’t just threated by cyber-attacks, but also by hardware that is physically damaged.

In order to fully protect data, organisations should opt for a service provider that offers off-site secondary replication. This allows customers to reboot their systems even in the rare event that the primary storage has been irreparably damaged.

Most importantly, it is key that companies choose a disaster recovery provider that can guarantee vital business data is handled properly. Compliance regulations have never been stricter and the consequences for not meeting these regulations have never been greater.

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With this in mind, organisations should look to enlist a provider that can meet all business continuity and disaster recovery requirements, and has been certified by relevant governing bodies.

The report issued by the Ponemon Institute further states that every minute of downtime could cost nearly $9,000. Companies that don’t invest in disaster recovery are flirting with the risk of substantial financial damage.

It is also critical that businesses recognise that successful disaster recovery plans utilise a disaster recovery service provider, not just sophisticated backup technology.

By investing in a service, an organisation can guarantee that its data is being managed and handled properly at all times, while making sure it is getting the most out of its solution. It is clear that while disaster recovery may appear to be a luxury component of IT infrastructure, when downtime strikes, it is a vital and invaluable resource.


Sourced by Jon Lucas, director and co-founder at Hyve Managed Hosting


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...