Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. It’s an old adage, and one which certainly rings true when it comes to organisations managing their IT infrastructures and data. The right IT can enable even the smallest businesses to innovate and expand in exciting ways – but if something goes wrong, it can have a devastating impact.
Why your business needs a backup and disaster recovery plan
Natural disasters might seem like a dramatic place to begin, but storms, fires and floods are all very real risks, even in the UK. Should such an incident take out your main premises – or even a secondary datacentre – the impact on business operations could be devastating. And once organisations have been closed for more than a few days, the risk of them staying so forever is extremely high, because the knock-on effects for customers are so sudden.
Then there’s hardware failure to contend with. Power surges, faulty electrics and simply good old-fashioned wear and tear can all have an effect on the hardware underpinning your IT infrastructure. If data is stored directly on that hardware, then you can lose it forever without proper backup.
Human error is something that no organisation can mitigate entirely, and in fact a very high proportion of corporate IT incidents have such accidents at their root. The damage can be enormous; American Airlines, for example, ended up grounding hundreds of flights after a router was configured incorrectly. More insidiously, cybercriminals and malicious hackers have a wealth of ever-evolving tools and techniques at their disposal with which to target even small organisations’ infrastructures, stealing data and potentially bringing operations to a standstill. Ransomware, for example, has become a particularly popular cybercrime technique in recent years, and works precisely on the basis that organisations faced without access to their key applications and data will be willing to pay to recover them.
No matter what sector you operate in or the scale and scope of your business, you need to work to mitigate these risks – and that depends on having a backup and disaster recovery plan. The good news is that in the cloud computing era, a new model of disaster recovery has become possible – one which is highly flexible and cost-effective for small organisations as well as large ones.
What is DRaaS?
Disaster recovery-as-a-service, like any other as-a-service solution, uses the cloud to deliver computing resource to an organisation at precisely the rate they need it – on demand. The organisation’s applications and data are replicated securely in the cloud, and can then be restored at the click of a button should an incident occur.
DRaaS is far more cost-effective and simple to manage than traditional forms of disaster recovery, which require the organisation in question to maintain its own disaster recovery site separately from the main premises. Recovery resources are only paid for when they are actually used.
Furthermore, DRaaS combines data backup withdisaster recovery. Prior to the rise of cloud computing, the two functions were often treated separately. Organisations needed to ensure that their data was replicated separately from their main premises, and that key applications and systems could be restarted and kept running – in other words, that they could ensure business continuity. DRaaS tackles both functions in one, meaning more streamlined management and often lower costs.
Business continuity is at the heart of good customer service, and it is not something your organisation can compromise on in a connected world. DRaaS could be an easier answer than you think.