Every business should have some form of business continuity disaster recovery (BCDR) plan for their mission-critical apps and data these days.
As noted by news organizations such as Foxnews.com, “small data breaches – those with fewer than 100 files lost – cost between $18,120 and $35,730. Unless these are expenses that you can easily sustain, it’s time to implement a BDR plan.”
Worse yet, the “disasters” that lead to data loss aren’t restricted to natural disasters. A disaster could include power outages, hardware failures, and attacks by hackers/malicious insiders.However, it’s not enough to have a disaster recovery solution—you need the right disaster recovery solution to ensure fast recovery and minimal data loss.
How do you know if a recovery solution is the right one for your business’ needs?
Here are a few must-have features for business disaster recovery solutions that can help you identify the best solution for your needs:
Flexible, Hardware-Agnostic Replication
Being locked into using a single vendor for hardware or other components of your IT infrastructure is rarely desirable. Vendor lock-in makes it harder to add new computing resources or move your data, and can lead to increased costs.
Using hardware-agnostic disaster recovery solutions that can replicate data and apps from any virtual machine (VM) to any other VM so long as the hypervisors are compatible helps to avoid vendor lock-in. This can save money as well as simplify the management of your DR solution.
Verifiable SLAs for Both Recovery Time and Recovery Point
With any disaster recovery solution, the solution provider should be able to provide you with a Service Level Agreement that addresses how long it will take to restore normal operations in the event of a disaster and how frequently data will be backed up: also known as the SLA for the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).
Ideally, the DR service provider should be able to provide documentation supporting their stated SLAs for both RTO and RPO.
Geodiversity of Replication Hardware
In any true disaster recovery solution, it’s not enough to just have a backup of your business’ data in the same server farm that your primary production environment is in. Too many “disaster” events can prevent access to the entire server farm/data center for that to even be considered disaster recovery.
Geodiversity of replication hardware is a must-have to ensure complete redundancy and eliminate single points of failure in your recovery solution.
Most cloud-based disaster recovery service providers should be able to ensure geodiversity. However, it’s important to verify where your primary and backup data environments will be located in relation to one another.
Minimal Performance Impact
Another important feature for any business disaster recovery setup is how much the replication of data will impact the performance of the production environment. Computing resources are finite, and adding extra load can impact performance and stability.
DR solutions that only replicate the entire production environment once—and then track the incremental changes made to it at regular intervals—help ensure strong RPOs while minimizing the performance impact of the replication process.
Hackers will take any opportunity they can to steal your company’s sensitive data—and the data on the replication environment is no exception. The environment that hosts your replicated data needs to be just as strongly protected as your primary environment, if not more strongly protected.
Features such as perimeter firewall, application whitelisting antivirus/antimalware, and other security measures should all be applied to the replication environment to keep it from becoming a potential security liability.
Naturally, it’s important to make sure that the DR solution your business uses actually will work when it needs to. Failover testing is an often-overlooked, but critical service for verifying the validity of a recovery solution in the event of a disaster.
If your solution isn’t tested on a regular basis, then how will you know it will work when you need it?
These are only a few of the must-have elements for a disaster recovery solution that your business uses.
Need help getting a DR solution that delivers on all of the above, and more? Get started below for our helpful handbook: