Value of disaster recovery in IT strategy has grown over the last few years. Even three to four years back, many organizations did not take into consideration planning for disaster recovery in their main business agendas.
Things are changing as companies are now aware of the increasing number of disaster recovery technology tools. Also, the forces outside have been pushing organizations to embrace efficient disaster recovery planning. There is, therefore, a need to have in place legal and regulatory compliance.
Some financial institutions are already following ordained levels of disaster recovery. Some regulations, such as MiFiD, Basel II, etc., have prescribed the standards for disaster recovery. Although financial companies need to follow these standards according to the regulation, it would augur well for other businesses too as embracing them would improve their reputation too.
If an IT outage hits a financial company, it would stand to lose millions of dollars even if the downtime is not much. In addition, it would harm their reputation and questions will be raised over their ability to withstand such outages in the future.
Besides, there are certain other factors which would make an efficient disaster recovery approach attractive to organizations.
When you adopt virtualization, the hypervisor is located between apps and the physical apparatus, where it was possible to restore these apps and information only to identical servers. It is now, however, possible to restore them virtually on any device. This is because virtualization enables replicating of data and apps on a secondary server in almost real time.
Even if not all servers in a company are virtualized, disaster recovery has been made simpler by virtualization. Small and medium sized business houses (SMBs) can virtualize their entire server assets. This will mean disaster recovery will be possible notwithstanding the presence of certain physical machines. With the cloud in place, it becomes far easier to enable disaster recovery.
A major change that is being anticipated in IT industry is the presence of vendors who will provide storage and compute facilities remotely. Disaster recovery will also be definitely one of the offerings.
Through the cloud, disaster recovery can be offered remotely so that data can be replicated. In the event of an IT outage, staff of enterprises can work by accessing the cloud until the physical infrastructure is restored.
But disaster recovery will be adopted by more companies only if risks are analyzed better, planning is much more streamlined, and the staff is well trained on the processes. This aspect needs to be addressed for it to become more popular with companies.
For instance, SHARE, a voluntary user group forIBMmainframe computers, defined seven tiers of disaster recovery tozero in on the various means of recovering critical IT operations in order for enterprises to not incur losses.
Tier 1 solutions entail organizations backing up data, which is stored at an offshore storage facility, such as a cloud.
Tier 2 solutions see enterprises regularly back up their data on tape, which is stored in offshore premises that are specially setup when disasters strike.
Tier 3 solutions see sensitive information being electronically stored by enterprises.
Enterprises, which use tier 4 solutions, are those whose data needs to be recovered as quickly as possible, failing which they incur huge losses.
Enterprises wanting information uniformity from the one produced during the output time and that which is stored at data recovery centers use tier 5 solutions.
Tier 6 solutions are used by organizations that cannot afford to lose any data. Also, this information needs to be recovered as fast as possible. This is applicable to government agencies.
Tier 7 solutions are an improvement of Tier 6 solutions. Automation is also tied to the disaster recovery operations.