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2017 IT Budgeting: How to Fit in a Disaster Recovery Plan

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It’s Time to Plan for 2017, and DRaaS is Finally Economical

History of Disaster Recovery—It Was Once a Costly IT Capability

2017 is fast-approaching, and businesses throughout all verticals are working on IT budgets for the coming New Year. When evaluating what is mission-critical versus ancillary, it is easy to underestimate the importance of a disaster recovery (DR) plan, especially when working within limited budget margins. Since DR is only useful in the event of actual disaster, decision makers sometimes misjudge its criticality and choose a plan that leaves business underprepared when disaster does strike. While DR plans aren’t necessarily a vehicle for ROI, they are necessary for the livelihood of the organization.

Historically,DR was significantly more costly than it is today, and far less businesses were using it to their full advantage. Even five years ago, DR was perceived as something of an “all-or-nothing” practice, as explained by TechTarget. It was used if an organization experienced a major disaster that affected primary infrastructure, and the traditional model was based on tape backup—which in and of itself can incur significant downtime, simply because of the process for retrieving tapes before restoring data and applications. Traditional DR models were significantly expensive and unaffordable for most companies.

Even currently, particularly where third-party Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) providers are concerned, DR services can be limited to offerings with rigid SLAs and recovery times that don’t fit the needs of all organizations. Traditionally, this has made adopting DR plans that address unique business needs and systems requirements very challenging, especially in situations where IT budgets are more limited. If a given DRaaS provider only offers a single, comprehensive DR offering with low RTOs, businesses with less extensive needs will overpay significantly—some may even forego DR as a result.

Regardless of your plan, the cost of downtime can amount to thousands of dollars per hour, depending on the particular disaster and company size.  As 2016 comes to a close, ensuring that your IT department has left a healthy amount of room for a solid DR plan will be critical to protecting the vitality of business in 2017.

What Today’s Flexible DRaaS Offerings Look Like

According to Emerson Network Power and Ponemon’s 2016 Cost of Data Center Outages Report, the average total cost per minute of an unplanned outage is $8,851—up by $943 from 2013. Even for companies with substantially less critical data than average, it’s not an easy cost to float. Solid, continuous DR practices will ensure peace of mind in the event of an actual disaster, and won’t cause anywhere near as much financial damages as the actual loss of data and reputation impacts.

Occasional IT disruptions, whether they qualify as a full-blown disaster or not, are inevitable. Data loss and downtime don’t have to be. The right DR plan will ensure full recovery of business-critical applications and minimal data loss in the event of failure.

Most DR tools today are cloud-based, which means that businesses have the ability to test anytime throughout the year without bringing production to a halt. A more flexible platform allows for regular testing to make sure the applications, data, and replicated IT environments will come up on another site successfully.

Such as listed by the Data Center Journal, fitting DRaaS into your budget brings great value, including the following:

  1. Cost-effectiveness

    Lost revenue and brand damage cost far more initially and over time than working with a DRaaS provider.

  2. Ease of implementation

    Disaster recovery in the physical world of technology is complicated and costly. Today, virtualization simplifies the process by encapsulating virtual machines (VMs) and making data portable.

  3. Reduced or eliminated data loss

    DR reduces or eliminates disruption to business, loss of critical data, and the amount of time recovery will take.

  4. Operations are brought back up effectively and quickly

    Data stored on tape, or data storage without virtual resources and the ability to easily test is not the same as true DR. Off-site backups are important, but they won’t guarantee business continuity. Cloud-based DRaaS will support faster recovery time.

Economy of DR Today

Disaster recovery has come a long way. Cloud-based DRaaS is now economical for businesses of all sizes, allowing IT departments of all variations to consider DR for the 2017 IT budget.

Prior to virtualization, the need to have specialized software, extensive network connectivity, and disparate data centers made DR as a practice unaffordable for most organizations. The ultimate value is in guaranteeing that your critical systems are recovered in the necessary amount of time in the event of catastrophe—and the time to think about it is now; not in the middle of an actual DR event.

Know Your DR Planning Options

Cloud-based DR has transformed into an IT practice that is now accessible to all organizations.  Partnering with a team of DRaaS experts will also increase cost savings and overall efficiency, but doing so will involve some tactical decision making. While finishing up your budget plans for 2017, especially when working with a partner, be sure to select the best option for your needs, based on the following considerations:

  • Compute needs
  • Storage type
  • RTO
  • RPO
  • Target platform availability

Regardless of the scenario best-fit for you, the DRaaS experts at Peak 10 are here to support your 2017 IT initiatives. If your IT team is unsure what kind of DR plan will work best, or be most cost-effective given the requirements of your business, visit www.peak10.com/contact-us or call (866)-473-2510.

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About Peak 10

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Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest