When it comes to protecting a business' critical information from serious problems, a strong disaster recovery and business continuity (DR and BC) plan is a must. But in today's environment, companies have more options available to them than ever before when it comes to safeguarding their essential data, so choosing the right tools requires close attention.
One option that should be given serious consideration is virtualised solutions. It was recently noted by Paul Evans, managing director at Redstor, that more organisations are looking to embrace cloud solutions and enjoy the benefits that this brings.
He explained in an article for CRN that traditional BC plans could mean firms spend large amounts of money on physical tools such as tape backups and shipping these to remote locations.
"But in the event of a disaster, accessing stored data off-site is expensive, stressful and time-consuming compared with a virtualised disaster recovery service," he said
DR solutions that have been virtualised can replicate all of a business' critical applications and operating systems, as well as access the most recent data from the cloud, in order to ensure a business is able to remain up and running should it suffer problems such as hardware failure, human error or natural disasters that knock its primary environment offline.
But the key difference with cloud-based tools are the speed at which they can be brought in, which can occur almost instantly and keep downtime to a minimum.
This should be one of the most important factors firms need to consider when planning a DR strategy, as the longer they are out of action, the less likely a successful recovery becomes - and even if firms do get back online, the financial and reputational losses could be huge.
"When disaster strikes at the primary location, it takes time to recover the data, investigate and resolve the problem, and build in safeguards against it happening again," Mr Evans said. "Meanwhile, the IT manager may be under pressure to get the systems running again as fast as possible so the business can function."
However, many firms may still not fully appreciate the importance of fast recovery, as recent figures from the DR Preparedness Council reveal 73 per cent of respondents said they did not have sufficient measures in place to ensure they would be able to recover in a timely manner.