With the rise of the cloud presenting new opportunities to technology companies, traditional ways of doing things may well be a thing of the past. Take disaster recovery for example. From entirely unprotected IT systems that were prone to failure and downtime, we now have a society where the majority of companies have at least a backup solution. This means we can get data back if required (most of the time) but it may take a long time – and customers may see a knock on effect of a company’s IT systems being down.
Move on to a world where backup is no longer enough, and IT availability is critical to a business. In comes disaster recovery companies- some are specialists in recovering from backup in the event of a failure, while more advanced options will give you a second set of systems with synchronous data replication, so you have zero downtime and zero data loss during an incident.
Now let’s move on again, and although tweaks to solutions and more advanced technologies are allowing more frequent backups to be taken to enhance RPO, and more options are enabling hot failover, there are still limitations to these traditional methods. On one hand, companies that recover you from backup following a disaster will never allow really fast recovery times, due to the configuration required and engineering time that it takes to achieve full return to service. On the other hand, companies that offer instant failover or hot/warm standby solutions are cost prohibitive to most but the largest of companies.
In comes the next wave of technological advancements with Pre-recovery. Utilizing the cloud, and automation, Pre-recovery offers a better alternative to traditional disaster recovery methods. The technology takes backup images but then rebuilds these into fully working replica systems in the cloud. The recovered systems can then be tested so all the work normally undertaken during a recover is already done in advance. The benefits? Recovery is pretty much instant (all that is required is to boot up your pre-recovered system) while no expensive overhead for a second set of systems is required. It’s also guaranteed to succeed as it’s already been tested and it’s very simple to access your recovered systems - so in the height of a chaotic IT disaster, you can focus on your business rather than your lack of IT systems.
What’s even more exciting is that by automating the Pre-recovery process, the cost drops significantly, making hot standby affordable to the SME market and can reduce the cost of business continuity substantially for larger businesses. It’s a win-win all round.
Beth Baxter is Marketing Manager at Plan B Disaster Recovery Ltd, a specialist cloud disaster recovery company. She has 12 years’ experience on an executive board, focussing on emerging technologies in the IT sector. Google Plus LinkedIn
Edited by Stefania Viscusi