Hurricane season brings into focus the need for companies to reexamine disaster recovery plans. As we’ve been meeting with companies on how to prepare for the volatile weather season, we advise organizations to approach hurricane preparedness not as a reactive disaster recovery process but as the opportunity to manage a hurricane as a planned event. The plan process can benefit organizations not just on their worst day, in the wake of a disaster, but every day, by revealing critical gaps in the availability of production environments.
Unlike many other weather-related events, hurricanes have a relatively long warning time-frame, which can allow for the proactive relocation of people and corporate assets in advance of the storm rather than waiting for the worst to occur.
As part of hurricane preparedness, companies should examine the role cloud computing can play as a new platform for lower-cost applications recovery. Infrastructure recovery is evolving to include a combination of physical, virtual and cloud components, allowing organizations to mix and match to meet specific needs of the applications and systems being recovered. Incorporating this expanded range of options makes it more critical than ever to be sure your recovery service provider has proven experience in handling real-life production operations along with designing high availability solutions and managing business continuity plans.
Additionally, recovery plans should include a process to guide operations in moving back to production systems from recovery sites following failures and disaster threats, such as after a hurricane passes.
What’s more, many businesses fail to take into consideration the time it takes to move recovered applications back to a production environment following a disruption. Automation capabilities, and careful sequencing of data resynchronization and service restart, are essential in speeding this process and minimizing the impact on business users.
Among the other drivers behind the trend toward recovery in the cloud are:
•Cloud-based recovery services utilize a shared, not dedicated, IT infrastructure which can help reduce customer costs of having additional capacity available when it is needed.
•Cloud computing provides a service pricing model so companies can ramp up capacity as needed during a hurricane response, without incurring added CAPEX.
•Fully-managed recovery services on a cloud platform can help reduce the cost and burden of recovery planning and testing during a disaster.
•Recovery planning and testing can reveal critical gaps in production environments and help close those gaps for improved daily operations.
What are your recovery plans during Hurricane season?