Disaster recovery invokes emotions – the sadness around Hurricane Katrina. The fear around Hurricane Sandy. Even just the extreme discomfort of the Northeast power outage in 2003 (which feels like yesterday – I carried water up 11 flights of stairs. ELEVEN). But, as rational humans, we tell ourselves that disasters don’t happen every day and they won’t happen to us.
It’s a fine coping mechanism for life – but almost the opposite of the type of realistic thinking that is needed in IT. Why? Because the “disaster” in Disaster Recovery actually need not be any sort of epic weather event or geological disturbance. The disaster can be a denial-of-service attack. It can be an overheated server room. It can be a local network outage. It can be something as mundane as human error.
Human error? A twiddled bit. A mistyped IP address. A little DNS issue. A misconfiguration. A hacker. A tempest in a teapot – and you’re the only one impacted.
So, while some unfortunate tempests escape their teapots and become front page news (and our hearts go out to Target’s security breach – I bet their IT team is running ragged), so many can be handled quietly and efficiently and the businesses can keep running unabated.
But only if there is a plan. A disaster recovery plan. Well tested, well practiced,and ready to roll if something does come up.
Fortunately, the cloud is making disaster recovery planning and execution much more attainable for companies today. In fact, analysts and other industry experts report DR as a Service is on the rise, citing reasons like cost efficiency, faster recovery times, reduced manual intervention and geographical flexibility.
But there is no silver bullet for DR, because every organization and location is unique. Teams that rush to implement “Check the Box” DR without a true assessment of their situation usually end up with a system that is cheap and inadequate or expensive overkill. An experienced DR provider should be able to quickly give a pragmatic assessment and offer tailored options.
See who the DRaaS leaders are in “The Forrester Wave™: “Disaster-Recovery-As-A-Service Providers, Q1 2014.”
Disasters may be large or small. But a wise person once said – it’s how you recover that matters.
Lilac Schoenbeck is VP product management & marketing at iland. has more than 15 years of experience with product marketing, strategy, business development, and software engineering in the grid, virtualization, and cloud domains. Prior to this role, she led cloud and automation marketing for BMC Software, and has worked for IBM, Fortisphere, Innosight, and the Globus Alliance. Schoenbeck holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a Computer Science degree from Pacific Lutheran University.