This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
Business continuity and disaster recovery projects consist of a fairly basic process of first understanding the impacts of a potential business outage and then developing solutions that appropriately mitigate them. In recent years, BC/DR projects have been identified by a number of CIO surveys as one of the top issues to address.
However, many organizations still struggle to justify investment in BC/DR in the short term. Therefore, to obtain BC/DR funding and compete for the information technology spend it's critical to generate value and link BC/DR with other key initiatives. Fortunately, other key projects often can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness and lower the overall cost of BC/DR projects.
A prime example is leveraging components of a LAN/WAN optimization project for their BC/DR benefits. A critical success factor of any business continuity project is considering how critical data is going to be backed up, protected and recovered. In many cases, the overall solution capability is negatively impacted by the required network bandwidth costs. LAN/WAN optimization can reduce significantly the bandwidth requirements, thus improving back-up and recovery capabilities.
LAN/WAN optimization also can support a BC/DR program from the infrastructure mapping perspective. A successful enterprise-wide BC/DR program requires that you identify and document the business-critical applications and their interdependencies. Completing this task is often a resource-intensive manual process that injects significant risk. As a result, it’s common for an unidentified key interdependency of a critical application to be discovered only at time of disaster.
A network optimization project requires you to monitor the information flow across the LAN/WAN, allowing you to target specific areas of optimization. Many network optimization tools have the ability to identify the applications, infrastructure, and servers, allowing one to monitor their data flows. While the intent is to understand the volume and peak periods, the output can generate an excellent starting point for an application interdependency map. By combining the LAN/WAN optimization and BC/DR interdependency-mapping projects, the value of each to the enterprise, and thus the likelihood of obtaining funding for both, increases.
David Halford is practice manager of business continuity services at Forsythe
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi