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Modern DR for budget-minded businesses

James Brissenden | Feb. 13, 2013
Disaster recovery planning and design are necessary activities that if overlooked, will place companies in a very uncomfortable position.

[This is a vendor contributed piece]

Disaster Management and Business Continuity are vital for maintaining an edge in today's competitive business environment. Even the world's largest cities must deal with the effects of hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes. In Japan, the Tohoku earthquake had devastating consequences on its people and infrastructure in 2011. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami left over 900,000 buildings damaged and interrupted operations for many large Japan-based corporations. In the US, Hurricane Sandy impacted the American financial district and brought large parts of New York City to a standstill.

Technology has become a critical component for the way businesses manage their supply chain, market and sell to customers, and communicate with investors. Growth and globalisation, along with a reliance on computer technologies, have enhanced our lives and improved business efficiency. However, this reliance also means the cost of a disaster is higher than ever before. Disaster recovery planning and design are thus necessary activities that if overlooked, will place companies in a very uncomfortable position.

Traditionally, the installation, operation, and maintenance of comprehensive Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities have been perceived to be cost prohibitive. CEOs and CFOs are usually reluctant to spend large portions of their IT budget on "protection" measures. This cost-directed approach to DR drives organisations to either protect everything by using their existing backup environment, expecting it to be the cheapest solution, or use a high cost solution for only a select few applications.

For those who take the "cheap" approach, the total cost of managing offsite tape copies isn't as cheap as they might expect. As data grows, so does the cost to maintain offsite copies. Tape handling, media, rotation, storage, and transportation all add up. This often leads to a recovery environment that is too complex to test and too difficult to recover reliably in the event of a disaster. It's also typical that given the higher amount of data loss associated with recovery from tape, concessions have to be made causing DR capabilities to be misaligned with business goals and needs.

Others who take the "spare no expense" approach often start by replicating data from a few key applications in order to keep costs down. But once the word gets around management circles, every vice president demands this option for their applications, rather than accept the risk of 36 hours or more of data loss with traditional tape backup. For much of their data, the business needs a higher level of protection than tape that can't be cost justified for array based replication. What they really need is an affordable option that provides a higher level of protection than tape.


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