The UK’s Chartered Management Institute has claimed that businesses of all sizes consider loss of IT to be the threat most likely to affect costs and revenue. Yet many organisations fail to prepare properly for IT disasters.
IT disaster recovery is complicated. Doing it well requires a lot of planning, and you have to keep on updating the plan if it isn’t going to be totally useless by the time you want it.
Testing the plan properly is almost never done, as it can be ruinously time-consuming. This has left many organisations with cheap, inadequate provisions or expensive set-ups that do not protect the business.
Too often, business continuity solutions focus on the provision of products or facilities. Whether these include replacement IT hardware or technical resources, they have limitations and leave the end user without the most important process of all – quick and effective "system" recovery.
Virtualisation might revolutionise disaster recovery. This has obvious benefits if you are starting from scratch but, interestingly, it also outlines new strategies for companies large and small that are not proposing to completely re-engineer their existing systems.
Managed disaster recovery services based on virtualised recovery platforms have the potential to do something disruptive to the economics of outsourced recovery.
Companies of all types can now get a much higher standard of service, at a drastically lower price. And with automatic testing, you will always know it is working.
Best of all, it is simple, and you do not need to keep updating the plan.
Whether companies have an expensive disaster recovery solution or are just hoping for the best, technology has moved on.
With the introduction of virtual server technology that breaks the bond between operating systems and hardware, a business can be protected at a fraction of the previous cost.
There are now virtualisation-based, IT disaster recovery and backup services that use server image capture and conversion technology to create virtual machine copies of a company’s servers that can be quickly booted up off site on virtual servers.
Recovered systems are accessed securely via VPN over any internet connection.
Such services work and can recover working systems in minutes. Many offerings do not stand any real chance of recovering working systems in a timely manner.
If automatically tested every day, it will work when you need it.
High disaster recovery costs are no longer an excuse for doing nothing and believing that an IT disaster will not happen to you.
Tim Dunger is operations director of Plan B DR
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