The Threat

Imagine your team is hard at work on a large project that is going to pivot the business in a new direction. The team has many people contributing their findings, opinions, modeling, concepts, and legal ramifications for this major shift when suddenly…disaster strikes. A massive storm hits the region resulting in major power outages. Production on the project completely shuts down, and as the storm washes away, so do millions of lines of code, documentation, and progress from the past few weeks.

When faced with an unpredictable catastrophic event some businesses lose everything, some recover fragments of the project months later, and a few have the capability to hit the rewind button and get back to 15 minutes before the disaster struck. In the storm example above, some companies are fortunate enough to have not experienced that level of disaster, but still look for a better defense when that time does come.

Who’s discussing the problem?

If you try to Google “problems with tape-based disaster recovery” you are going to find very little of anything relevant to the actual search phrase. The results will be mostly marketing material from manufacturers who want you to use their solution, or short blog posts on the topic that reside on websites that look like they were built in 1998. Either the companies actually depending on the tape-based backup for disaster recovery have zero complaints or they are justifiably quiet about the problems they are experiencing.

For years, the disaster recovery systems in place at most companies were akin to driving a semi-truck on a sheet of ice.In utilizing a tape-based disaster recovery plan through a large tape-based recovery service provider, to achieve the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) would take 30 hours and the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) would take 10 weeks! To put that in perspective, the team would only be able to restore up to 30 hours before the ice cracked and a month and a half before the semi-truck was out of the lake and back running at full speed on the freeway again.

Are you one of the organizations looking for a new solution to better equip the IT team if disaster did strike. More importantly, do you understand the best way to move forward whether it be utilizing their a collocation facility, a cloud based service, or something else entirely? 

Have you considered a “hybrid” approach?

First consider the costs and benefits between using a collocation facility or to leverage a cloud based solution Cloud infrastructure. To meet requirements, you would need to architect both solutions to fit an RTO of a few hours and an RPO of minutes for critical applications. In addition to meeting these requirements, you also needed to take into consideration the requirements across your current environment, consisting of server, storage, network and software components.

Assessment Review:

Collocation Pro:

  • Dedicated infrastructure for your requirements
  • Predictable environment costs
  • Improved security
Cloud Pro:

  • Limited infrastructure responsibilities
  • No headcount requirements to support systems
  • Consumption based pricing model
Collocation Con:

  • Significant capital costs
  • Responsible of infrastructure refresh cycles
  • Additional resource requirements
Cloud Con:

  • Dependency of cloud provider
  • Conforming to provider policies and security

It is possible to minimize concerns in both solutions, and leverage a hybrid of both cloud and collocation. Look for a company that can provide the best of both worlds, to enable maximum flexibility and cost effectiveness.  The hybrid solution, will leveraging both “provider” owned assets as well as assets owned by you the client to enable maximum flexibility and cost effectiveness.

Could this be your results?

Leveraging a hybrid solution will allow you to operationalized capital investments that would normally be essential, and wrapped it into a monthly expense that will be lower than organizations normally spend for traditional “tape-based” recovery solutions.

If that storm mentioned earlier were to happen tomorrow, your IT team will now have an RPO of minutes, an RTO of a few hours, and instead of going to the DR site they can work through it all from the comfort of their home, desk, or favorite coffee shop.

Photo Credit: cnn.com