In today’s modern business environments, access to data is crucial to a company’s success. When data is unavailable, it can have an enormous impact on operations.
Despite this fact, all too many companies operate without any kind of Disaster Recovery (DR) plan to ensure business continuity.
Why do companies overlook the importance of creating a DR solution? Also, why is disaster recovery so important?
The “Disaster” Misconception
There is a common misconception about the word “disaster” in disaster recovery for business data. Many seem to think that the term primarily applies to natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, etc.
However, in business terms, the word “disaster” can be applied to any event that results in the loss of access to mission-critical applications and data. This list includes events such as:
- Power Failures
- Hardware Failures
- Network Outages
- Software Glitches/Failures
- Human Errors
- Malware Attacks (ransomware)
Natural disasters are actually one of the least common causes of data loss.
Why Disaster Recovery is a Necessity
The sheer pervasiveness of data loss events demands that businesses have a strong disaster recovery solution in place. Just how likely is it that any business will experience a disaster that causes data loss?
According to statistics cited by Zerto, “76% of companies experience an outage each year, and 40% of companies go out of business if they cannot access their data with-in 24 hours.” Sooner or later, every business is affected by a disaster.
Accidental power or network outages caused by unforeseen events have had significant impacts on organizations in recent history. For example, in Florida, a major network outage occurred when the wrong fiber cable was cut during Frontier’s takeover of Verizon’s services in the state.
News organizations such as FOX13news.com reported on “a technical issue during the integration of the systems Frontier acquired from Verizon that impacted service to some enterprise and carrier customers in Florida.”
This outage affected businesses throughout the Tampa area, resulting in a total loss of internet connectivity. Businesses without a secondary network connection were left unable to do business.
There has also been an increase in severe data loss events caused by ransomware attacks. As noted by the FBI, “Ransomware attacks are not only proliferating, they’re becoming more sophisticated” and “paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee an organization that it will get its data back.”
Instead of paying ransoms with no guarantee of getting the encryption key, the FBI recommends business owners to “Back up data regularly and verify the integrity of those backups regularly” and “secure your backups.”
A good idea, but there are some issues with backing up data internally. One such issue is that manually backing up data is an infrequent, slow, and labor-intensive process.
What to Look for in a DR Solution
A true disaster recovery solution should be simple, thorough, and agnostic in regards to the storage, hypervisor, and cloud solutions a business uses for its infrastructure. More complicated solutions can add an untenable load to your business’ computing resources—which is the case with backup systems that try to clone your entire business environment all at once with every refresh.
Such poorly-optimized data backup overloads the system, potentially causing it to crash. This would cause the very kind of outage the DR solution was supposed to help you recover from.
Better DR solutions record the minor changes made to the environment with each system image to reduce impact on computing resources.
Beyond impact on business computing environments, a disaster recovery solution should also be designed to minimize recovery time and provide the most recent recovery point possible. This helps to reduce the impact of a disaster on operations.
Given the variety of disaster types and the likelihood of losing access to critical data, it’s clear that businesses need a comprehensive disaster recovery solution to ensure business continuity. The risks are simply too great to ignore this vital business survival tool.