Whether due to natural disaster or cyberattack, downtime is devastating for businesses, and every second counts when systems go down. This is why a disaster recovery service is crucial for any organization, no matter the size. A DR plan helps keep businesses up and running by ensuring data backups are available in the event of a disaster. It also includes strategies that strengthen security posture, limit damage from attacks and reduce the impact of any disasters that may occur.
Typically, a DR service involves replicating and backing up critical IT infrastructure at multiple locations—called disaster recovery sites. In the event of a disaster, these sites can be used to restore and recover the data or infrastructure in a predetermined amount of time. This allows organizations to avoid the cost and risk of restoring and recovering from a disaster, as well as the impact on productivity, revenue and customer experience.
While some people assume that disaster recovery is simply backing up data and files, it’s actually much more complex. In addition to backup solutions, a DR service can help recover virtual machines (VMs), applications and infrastructure from a point in time—called instant recovery. It can also prevent downtime through continuous monitoring, which detects and addresses issues before they impact performance.
A DR service also helps ensure the continuity of IT operations by providing a seamless transfer of critical workloads from one environment to another in the event of a disaster. It can help eliminate the need to re-provision applications and virtual machines after a failure and enable faster failover by using automated processes. This means that only the data needed to run essential apps and IT services is restored to the new environment, not the entire database or the system configuration.
The National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) provides a coordinating structure to support the development of effective recovery core capabilities for state, tribal, territorial and local jurisdictions. This enables them to better serve their constituents and rebuild stronger, smarter and safer communities and the nation.
To successfully implement a disaster recovery service, it’s important to have a team dedicated to the process and prepared to handle unforeseen challenges. The DR team should be knowledgeable about business continuity best practices, understand how to use the tools provided by the DR solution and have access to support during the recovery process. It’s also a good idea to conduct regular drills and tests to make sure the team can respond to a crisis in a timely manner.
The type of DR solution you choose will depend on your business needs. Typical options include disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS. This is an IT solution that allows you to back up your IT infrastructure in a third party cloud computing environment. DRaaS can be co-managed, which means the DR vendor handles planning, testing and management of the DR process for you, or self-service, in which case you’re responsible for all the DR work.