The fact that disaster recovery doesn't garner more attention in the world of IT management is simply mind-boggling. While decision-makers have become more cognizant of their recovery planning in recent years, there is still an alarming lack of emphasis on backing up, recovering and fortifying data within the company infrastructure. If you feel that DR has taken a back seat in your IT shop, you wouldn't be alone - a recent IT Web article pointed to Gartner research revealing only 35 percent of organizations have a comprehensive recovery strategy in place, and even fewer can rely on their systems 100 percent.
"Most businesses have some sort of backup plan in place, but what happens when disaster actually strikes? We want to increase the awareness around the fact that many organizations could be in trouble," said Attix5 CTO Petrus Human at the recent Cloud World Forum in London, according to the source.
To avoid being a part of the unfortunate majority without a well-equipped DR profile - one complete with the technologies, policies and governance to perform under pressure - you need to take a hard look at what recovery really entails in the era of modern IT. Here are three recovery elements that need to be a part of your tech strategy in this high-stakes digital world.
1. Virtual environments - the ultimate safety net.
Software-defined network architectures have redefined data center optimization by introducing the concept of virtual machines. These entities are engineered to help you take advantage of unused resources in your infrastructure, as well as offer a more dynamic approach to application delivery. While those advantages have been well-documented, did you know that VMs can add huge value to your business continuity and recovery outlook as a bonus?
Since you can easily replicate, deploy, destroy and recover VMs at the drop of a hat, you can regain control of your assets during a crisis and keep your end users satisfied with the data and services they demand.
2. Testing, 1,2... always ensure functionality.
Without, rigorous and frequent tests, how can you be sure that your DR systems will pull your organization through and outage or other business interruption? Biz Journals recently suggested that you plan, populate, log and review your tests as a natural extension of your recovery strategy. This means mapping out a test plan, gathering various IT and executive perspectives, recording the results of the trial and examining the reports. These steps will help you maximize the precision and reliability of your DR method.
3. Address and overcome shortcomings ASAP.
Don't become complacent in your DR planning simply because you've integrated a few new tech components and formed employee policies along the way. Remember that business continuity is a dynamic thing, evolving with every step your organization takes. Don't only make DR a part of your IT blueprint, but also include the topic in more general boardroom discussions to get the most out of your investments and tech partnerships.