In the past, when organizations planned to build their infrastructure for disaster recovery, they had to build the system from scratch on their own. They only had the local data center to fall back upon for housing their critical data and applications. But they had to pay a hefty price for ensuring data reliability with such an arrangement.
Building a data center from scratch was definitely not an easy task to handle for most organizations. They had to first create the right architecture and then move the specific data to the center, always focusing on a smooth operational transition. It worked in the past but in today’s business environment where companies have to continuously work within tight budgets and thin profit margins, this approach could prove to be disastrous.
In fact, there is a high level of complexity involved. There are dozens of tasks and processes that must be handled. If you are not conversant with the system, there could be huge errors and they could prove to be expensive ones. The transition to the cloud can be made smoothly without major risks only if proper planning and testing are involved.
Here are the steps that you must take:
Before making any changes to the DR architecture, you must have a closer look at your IT environment. If there is an extended downtime involved, which services and functions are at a risk? Identify them accurately and also the resource requirements and strategic goals for the future.
Benefits of Cloud
Now, determine what precisely you can achieve by shifting from the secondary data center to a cloud-based DR. Check of the legacy data center has been in service for long. If yes, you can gain from their streamlined infrastructure. It will also ensure a quicker and hassle-free DR process as a good quantum of the data will reside in virtual machines while in the cloud. These virtual machines inherently have greater flexibility than conventional hardware systems.
A major benefit of using the Linux cloud/hybrid model is that can reduce the costs involved by more than half when compared with a traditional solution. It would a good idea to consider using the services of services offering DRaaS or disaster recovery as a service as you can enjoy better features. An experienced provider will have well established systems in place that can be utilized for meeting competitors head-on.
You can further improve the cost/benefit ratio by focusing on:
Software Licensing and Support:
It is seen that agreements are generally full of technical jargons and tough for a non-technical person to comprehend. Also, the devil is in the fine print in most cases. Make sure that you go over licensing agreements with a fine comb to ensure that your interests are fully protected.
Skills and Training
DRaaS is easy to handle but some amount of retraining is unavoidable. Choose a managed service specializing in DR to enhance efficiency. They will also be able to guide you accurately in creating the best environment for your business and even secure it. Your in-house IT staff can deal with the new backup and recovery operations while the provider handles the real tough part of the operations.
Some costs cannot be classified as they are unique to each enterprise. You might have to look at a different approach that taking a backup facility on a long-term lease. By not doing so, your enterprise can face a series of risks during the transition process. Make sure you identify all your obligations in advance as it can help you avoid unpleasant surprises in terms of cost/benefit analysis.
The Benefits of A Multi-Cloud System
It is seen that off late, many enterprises prefer using a multi-cloud model. There are multiple benefits of doing so.
- They can choose the best provider for a specific service.
- Enterprises do not run the risk of being dependent on a single provider.
- It significantly reduces the chance that any one single event will adversely affect the entire infrastructure of the organization
- Companies will be in a position to provide high quality service even when activity is at its peak.
The same approach can also be used for telecom connectivity to and from the cloud hosting. You can ensure that you achieve high quality at low cost, by simply letting your provider know that the arrangement is performance-specific and that there is no assurance of long term commitment to a particular provider.
You can measure the success of your DR efforts on two key parameters – RTO and RPO.
RTO or Recovery Time Objective is the time period you can manage your business smoothly without access to critical resources.
RPO or Recovery Point Objective gives you an idea of the quantum of data that you can possibly lose if a specific event happens.
Generally, it takes just a few minutes of downtime for organizations to suffer severe impact in the areas of critical applications and services. Data loss also happens in large numbers as advanced applications offer data-linked service with the help of data that’s quite fresh and recent.
Shedding your outdated backup infrastructure for a hybrid system is a highly recommended move.