Disaster Recovery — Thinking Ahead

Sawan Joshi
Aug 12 · 4 min read
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This week I spent a day exploring what has changed with the crucial component of DR which forms part of a good Business Continuity plan and process. Often people mistake the two and even split the responsibilities across departments and if your organization is SILO driven then you always going to be voiced with reasons why something can not be done and not voices willed with the innovation of how IT can enable the business to do this and that.

Technology enables us to do

We know that technology enables us to do more and this has continued to increase. We also know that Information is increasingly digital and so is the way we work with that information. We create connections and manipulate data for analysis so that we can get the best out of the various viewpoints within our business teams so that information can enable us to do more. It is no surprise that automation is on the increase and IT should promote our success by what it brings to the table.

Then with business continuity, the need for technology to be adaptive to our business is vital, the choices of what we use are paramount. We wouldn’t choose something that doesn’t consider the quick and easy setup of features that ensure information assets are available to those that need and are required to have it.

How do we get there from legacy?

Relationship management with vendors of technologies not just third-party resellers. In reality, both should be equally managed with Key performance Indicators with key risk indicators against business-aligned key goal indicators. This will make sure you evolve your solutions to the right versions of it ahead of renewals or plan ahead with financial budgetary forecasting to remove ones that can not deliver what your business needs with its current and future target state.

Back to DR

DR ten years ago looked like paying for generators, dedicated backup data centers where we would keep equipment ready to use or even a hot site ready with replicated data and systems with setup in place to either manually or automatically kick into action and become the live site. Although third party data center is hardly a thing of the past, the model has changed in how its evolved to give an effective DR. Companies used to do Co-location which is still very much a strong model today but definitely, scenario dependent.

Scenarios define needs

Infrastructure as a Service offers elasticity as does the migrating systems to Software as a service platform. Business needs drive which you choose but like Information security that has to be baked into every design choice at the start of an initiative it would be prudent to consider doing the same with Business continuity and 2 of its very important sub-components which are disaster recovery and Incident response. Doing this will ensure ballooning costs, reactive countermeasures or mitigations will not for the solution to an expensive risk register later along the line when as experiences person runs a gap assessment.

Gap Assessment — It always comes.

This will always come, whether your organization is looking to gain a new investor, achieve a certification which could be an afterthought due to new business limiting regulations or preferences. It could come from incidents, even the mop-up job after a cyber breach or a major system availability outage. At some point in time mostly annually so much more frequently there will be a need to run gap assessments and the outcome from which are revisions into the risk register which is, should or definitely eventually will be visible to a high level. There would truly be nothing more satisfying than to plan ahead for all of this in your business cases and form a robust need for every initiative-showing no stones unturned.

Look at your baseline now

Having a good understanding of what you have now will really help in selecting the right solution, the subject of DRAAS is getting a lot of limelight nowadays and as well as new players in the market there are some who have evolved such as Veeeam , Zerto, and Carbonite. These are all fantastic solutions but all have some architecture understanding to be clear of first. For example one may require a specific level of high privilege access or root access to your VMware infrastructure and if you do not have that access replication may not work in the best way it can with a particular product’s features. Knowing what you have and having smart people on the team who are aligned with the business goals is a recipe for successful choices. Importantly if people you work with know understand their technology really well then they can also explain it simply. Focus only on what is the outcome you will get and what will it take to get there.

There are advanced choices that are adapting to what trend is going to be a popular flow and those have strong momentum, VMware on AWS is one such excellent example. However, the key things to look for in DR are one that will require the least effort and provide the most reliable and here is the deal-breaker test ready solution.

Plan Ahead

It’s useless if you can not test it and prove it works and the best way to plan for effective target outcomes in business transformation is to cover all concerns that matter. In enterprise architecture, we call it viewpoints of the entire business and if you think as a business leader when planning you will engage company-wide planning for these viewpoints and ensure each and every scenario empowers your business cases and drive the organization to its goals.

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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

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