by David Powell
At some point during the course of running your business, someone has likely asked you about your “IT disaster recovery plan.” It wasn’t too many years ago that those plans focused solely on acronyms like “RPO” and “RTO”—both of which reference how long you could afford to be down and how old your data could be when you came back online. The conversation, however, has evolved quickly. In fact, the concern is no longer just about how long you can afford to be down, but instead about how you can prevent your business from going down in the first place.
In the past, only large, enterprise-level businesses required persistent uptime and, quite simply, had the resources to ensure that their services were always available. Now, the expectation of uptime and diminished ability to tolerate downtime affect every business, no matter how large or small. While the smaller businesses now have the same expectation of uptime, they still don’t have the budgets to support this requirement.
The answer, for many businesses, lies in the cloud. Businesses are moving their workloads from onsite servers to hosted solutions in the cloud to increase uptime. Others are mirroring their onsite environments in the cloud so, in the event of an on-site outage, the mirrored services are still available from the cloud. For example, with TekLinks' DR-as-a-Service offering, your business data would be protected with a fully-managed, cloud-powered data recovery process handled entirely by an expert IT team.
So, what should you do with your business? You should have a conversation with your IT provider about “high availability” instead of “disaster recovery.” IT disaster recovery, by definition, assumes that there will be some amount of downtime, which is unacceptable in today’s world of “always on.” High availability is a conversation about taking your key technology systems and architecting them in such a way that they are resilient, always available, and persistently online.
You may have a dusty binder in the corner of your office that has “IT Disaster Recovery Plan” written on the front. Most likely, that plan is significantly deficient to meet the needs of your current business. As we approach the stormy months of spring and the hurricane season of the summer, take some time out and ask your IT provider what you can do, without breaking the bank, to make your systems highly available. Your business and your clients depend on it.