The Right Way to Test Disaster Recovery Services

By: Jacqueline Lee| - Leave a comment

Too often, organizations come up with a disaster recovery (DR) plan and then assume that they’re ready for a major disruption. However, according to the Virtualization and Cloud Review, 17 percent of businesses still report that they have no disaster recovery solution in place.

If you’re working with a disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) model, your disaster recovery services provider probably pushes you for regular testing. Walking team members through the plan takes time, simulations cost money, and a real disaster recovery drill can lead to the very disruption you’re trying to prevent. While it makes sense to want to insert as little unpredictable chaos into your operations as possible, you shouldn’t walk blindly into a real-world scenario with a plan you’ve never tested.

Predictive Disaster Recovery Services

A growing number of organizations are using cloud-native applications and connecting to dynamically provisioned IT services across the globe. As these organizations evolve, so does their infrastructure. DR is hard to achieve in a short timeframe, and the sheer scale of global enterprises makes it extraordinarily expensive.

Analytics can help companies understand how well their current DR processes are going. Descriptive analytics can tell you your current data backup success rate. Cloud analytics can offer vendors insights into DR across the spectrum, determine the effectiveness of their current services and help them optimize their cloud environments.

With predictive tools, disaster recovery services let companies react immediately when critical systems are exposed to high levels of risk. By adding automation to the mix, DRaaS can help organizations automatically transfer workloads elsewhere until the scenario improves. Predictive DR changes the crash-and-restore paradigm that worked for centralized data center workloads.

DR testing no longer involves staying up all night and hoping the business opens tomorrow as planned. Thanks to DRaaS, if something goes wrong with testing, critical workloads can still run continuously.

Avoiding DRaaS Disasters

Even so, DRaaS must be implemented intelligently to be effective. According to the Virtualization and Cloud Review, businesses should keep these three factors in mind when utilizing disaster recovery services:

  1. Bandwidth: If you’re recovering on-site workloads from remote backups or need to suddenly access workloads from other locations, make sure you have sufficient bandwidth so you can be agile in a time of uncertainty.
  2. Data Transfer Costs: Transferring a full-scale backup into and out of cloud platforms costs money, especially when you have to transfer that data via internet. Look for DR solutions that don’t require the full replication of data before failback can occur.
  3. Service-Level Agreements: The number of nines after the decimal point in your uptime agreement matters when a crisis hits. A 99.9 percent uptime guarantee could mean an outage of several hours in your busiest season; a 99.9999 percent uptime guarantee means downtime of less than a minute.

Your organizations should be looking at DR in predictive, not reactive, terms. With analytics and automation, you can test your IT infrastructure’s resiliency and mitigate disruptions before they happen.

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About The Author

Jacqueline Lee

Freelance Writer

Jacqueline Lee specializes in business and technology writing, drawing on over 10 years of experience in business, management and entrepreneurship. Currently, she blogs for HireVue and IBM, and her work on behalf of client brands has appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine. In addition to writing, Jackie works as a social media manager and freelance editor. She's a member of the American Copy Editors Society and is completing a certificate in editing from the Poynter Institute.

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