What if you could save 50% annually on your DR program costs by taking advantage of new data-virtualization and cloud-based technologies?
In the next installment of our “In The Trenches” series, I thought we could spend some time discussing how DR has changed dramatically for the better over the last few years.
Old School DR
Why is it so expensive and challenging to do?
Ten years ago or more, the prevailing approach to recovering an application was pretty simple. Your organization would find a secondary site, furnish it with equipment, replicate data to that site, and then go about the process of testing the failover and recovery of some of your key applications.
Pull back the covers a bit, and we see some draw backs with that approach:
- Vendor lock-in: Whether I go with a DR solutions provider, or a co-location data center firm, I am going to have to sign a multi-year contract. If I don’t like the experience I get out of the gate, well, I am stuck.
- Expensive: Costs add up quickly considering I have to pay for the data center room, a high speed WAN circuit, Recovery / Replication software, and the DR equipment to reside at the recovery site which sits mostly idle until I have a DR drill or actual DR event.
- Time suck: You need to designate a committee of folks in your organization from different technical areas to lead up this effort (databases, storage, network, and DR program management). These are also the folks that have to sacrifice their weekends once every 3 months to ensure that your mission critical applications are recoverable inside of your RTO / RPO limits.
New School DR
There has been a big shift in the DR space over the last few years in the following areas:
- Performance – New School DR technologies reduce the deployment cycle time with less complexity than traditional DR solutions. The software component used is the key to the speed and reduced complexity.
- Flexibility – Unlike traditional DR providers, new solutions allow for a Client’s DR infrastructure to be located in a myriad of places – traditional on-premise, private cloud off-premise, or public cloud off-premise – or as a hybrid model between locations.
- Lower Cost – New software-based data virtualization, data protection, and backup-up solutions are very competitively priced. Clients aren’t bound by a equipment depreciation schedule, a hardware lease, or a long-term contract with a traditional DR provider. Our favorite solutions are flexibly priced on RTO and RPO services levels, “how fast and how far back”. Moreover, once a Client has deployed the new school DR testing and certification can be easily out-tasked. In other words, you can “out-task” or even “out-source” the quarterly DR drills and semi-annual failover tests to your DRaaS vendor as an add-on, thus, giving your hard working folks their weekends back.
- Speed – In our experience, using the old school, traditional approach, it can normally take up to 3 tries before a DR team can successfully recover an application. Taken a step further, if you only execute a DR drill once every 6 months, it might be 18 months before you have a success. And if takes you 6 months more to establish your backup and recovery technical procedures and organization, that takes us to almost 2 years before you can sleep well at night knowing that you have a rock solid, reliable DR plan and your recovery procedures are sound.
- Service and Support – The best service providers that specialize in new school DRaaS are nimble organizations that are incredibly responsive to their clients.
But, aside from the cost savings, what I think is the most interesting of these new developments is that because these new recovery solutions are so reliable and work so well, we see new use cases open up for leveraging the DR area for more than just DR.
If I have a reliable copy of my key application and its data in the cloud, then I can do some other cool things with it without disturbing my DR testing function.
More on this in part 2 of this post.