Businesses know they need to back up their data, their workloads and their applications in the event that disaster strikes. Downtime of business-critical applications or data loss could cause a major disruption for organizations caught without a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plan in place. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, approximately 25% of businesses that are affected by a disaster fail to reopen.
Organizations don’t need to wait for a disaster to strike to start thinking about disaster readiness. As recent natural disasters have taught us, such as Hurricane Sandy or the Fukushima earthquake, catastrophes can strike with barely a moment’s notice, and having a workable, well-thought-out disaster recovery plan is crucial to help a business get back on its feet and recover quickly following a disaster.
Today, pretty much every organization makes backups, typically every 24 hours or more. In a disaster, that means hours or days of data can be lost, and it takes hours or days to restore everything from backups. Disaster recovery protection (continuous replication) offers a much higher level of protection, allowing an organization to set a recovery point measured in minutes or hours, and the organization can quickly restart applications rather than having to restore them from different storage. Yet many small to medium sized businesses simply don’t do DR at all because implementing DR has been either too complicated, too expensive or both.
DR services have sprung up to address the complexity challenge, but in almost all cases they don’t make it any simpler – they just transfer the complexity to a managed services team, who manually manage the DR on a customer’s behalf. As a result, these services remain relatively expensive because the complexity is still there, and the customer is being billed for people time as well as the cost of the infrastructure.
We think there’s plenty of room to make DR faster, cheaper and simpler for everyone by applying to tenets of large-scale, standardized hybrid cloud computing to the problem.
The cloud is changing how IT organizations operate, and disaster recovery should not be an exception. VMware is going to be bringing cloud innovation to the world of DR. We’ll have more to say about that soon.