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What a Good Disaster Recovery Cloud Partnership Can Do for Your Customers

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September 29, 2014
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The majority of businesses have disaster recovery (DR) plans that don’t work when disaster strikes. That’s one of several dismaying conclusions of the 2014 Annual Report of the Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council, which surveyed 243 organizations worldwide about disaster experiences. Thirty six percent had no test plan in place when a disaster occurred, and an additional 32 percent realized that existing plans were not entirely useful.

Clearly there is a compelling need to introduce businesses to the value of a cloud-based DR plan that is implemented, monitored and tested by skilled professionals, like those at Peak 10. Ignoring DR planning is not an option . IT disasters occur with alarming regularity, and best-in-class organizations plan for them, with the objective of absorbing unanticipated incidents without any downtime or disruption.

Achieving that level of business resilience is not an easy task, as the real-world DRP Council report illustrates. That’s why most organizations will need the help of an experienced DR cloud partner like Peak 10, who can add enormous value to preparing for the unexpected.

1. Flexibility, Scalability and Bandwidth

Putting DR in the cloud allows businesses to rapidly create a robust recovery solution without having to build a new physical site or to repair an existing solution. Instead, production systems and data are continuously replicated in the cloud with just minor adjustments to the business’ existing environment. Peak 10 can supply replication bandwidth of 5 Mbps or better to ensure that your customers continue to enjoy optimum computing performance with enormous peace of mind.

Unlike traditional backup, the location of a disaster becomes immaterial with a cloud-based DR solution: the cloud is everywhere. Even if a disaster covers a large geographic region, Peak 10’s centers are beyond reach. Our experienced staff works with businesses to provision enough cloud resources to replicate, test and – yes – fail over their entire production environment, typically within minutes of an identified incident.

2. Better, Faster People

The DRP report states, “Many organizations today still struggle with assembling the skills, time or money to adequately plan and test their DR preparedness.” That’s no reflection on a business’ IT staff: they’ve deliberately hired people to help support and grow their business, not to become experts in the moving target of DR. Frankly, there’s no point diverting them from their business-specific assignments.

Peak 10’s staff, however, are already trained in every dimension of DR design, preparation, testing and execution and is available 24/7/365 to run middle-of-the-night failover tests (without complaining) and to efficiently respond to any actual incident. Additionally, Peak 10 offers :

  • Automated site monitoring
  • Automated traffic redirection of all resources needed to switch to the recovery site during a crisis
  • Dependable follow-through on all details of the recovery plan, such as DNS updates and system configuration adjustments.

3. Test, Test, Test

Disturbingly, about one-third of organizations test their DR environment as infrequently as once or twice a year. In fact, about a quarter never test at all, according to the DRP Council Annual Report. Imagine if that was how often you tested your car’s brakes!

DR is only effective if it can be relied on to work today, with the accumulated patches, changes and modifications of today’s production environment. Designing a test plan, then conducting the tests until they are satisfactory, is not a job for the inexperienced. Peak 10 can make a huge impact by collaborating on the test plan and by executing the bulk of the testing. The fact that Peak 10 operates in in the cloud makes the test that much more realistic: we don’t have access to in-house resources which could be unavailable in an actual disaster.

Peak 10 can provision all the computing resources needed to run the failover test – the sort of peak demand that’s a simple matter in the cloud. Our trained staff can also perform the majority of the test and provide expert feedback.

One more caution that should be obvious, but evidently isn’t. The DRP report discovered that fully 65 percent of organizations failed their own tests, and a quarter of those never re-tested. See the flaw here? If you can’t get it right in rehearsal, the show is going to be a tragedy on opening night. A DR plan implemented with Peak 10 can ensure your customer is prepared and ready for any disruption.

4. Documentation and Best Practices

Under pressure, it’s easy to forget small but crucial details. That’s why it’s essential (and sometimes legally required) to have clear, accurate documentation of how to execute a valid test and how to respond to an actual incident.

Yet more than 60 percent of those in the DRP report admit that they do not have a completely documented DR plan, and many disclose that their existing plans turned out to be flawed in practice.  Don’t let your customers be part of that statistic.

A well-designed DR plan must take many factors into account. It’s serious work. Peak 10’s managed services can keep your customers honest and their documentation up to date. We’ll help document all details of the process so that it can be used by anyone: their own staff or Peak 10’s.

5. Compliance

Increasingly, organizations are subject to regulations that require DR plans, documentation, incident reporting and even compliance audits.

PCI and HIPAA compliant cloud is seamlessly part of the full Peak 10 cloud offering, meaning you can rely on the security controls and documented process to comply with the respective regulatory obligations. Peak 10 can provide a pathway to compliance for your customers.

Businesses that hope disaster won’t strike their organizations are hiding their heads in the sand. The right place for their heads is in the cloud. A strong DR cloud partner like Peak 10 can help them keep their heads above water, even when disaster strikes.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest