Using Azure Site Recovery to Survive Data Disaster.
Is your business lost in the maze of disaster preparedness options? Are you headed in the right direction? If disaster strikes, recovering from it could cost you thousands of dollars – plus losing the trust of your clients and vendors. Having a plan to save your business from unexpected, painful events will help you get back on track quickly. Microsoft Azure has new functionality that makes disaster recovery simple, affordable, and reliable. It’s called Azure Site Recovery.
Using this service, virtualized servers are replicated to Microsoft Azure and infrastructure can be brought online quickly if something happens.
Everyone Who Uses Technology Needs Disaster Recovery Backup.
Most businesses rely on technology to run their day-to-day processes – think email, Word docs, client information and ordering systems, inventory, and accounting.
Other companies are all about the tech – think Uber, Airbnb, Constant Contact, and many others.
So, if something disastrous happens – and you don’t have a solution like Azure Site Recovery in place – your business grinds to a halt, whether tech is your main business or ‘just’ how you get your work done every day.
What could go wrong?
Well, there’s earthquakes, electrical storms, fire, criminal activity, and potentially disgruntled employees who wreak havoc as they exit.
Without a backup plan, your business could be in BIG trouble.
Let’s put it bluntly.
If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan, you’re at risk for complete business failure.
What Should be Included in a Plan?
Disaster plans can cover everything from how to get out of your store or office during a fire drill, to how to get back up and running if your servers are buried in the rubble.
While it’s important to customize a plan for your business, every plan should include:
- A technology asset inventory that names mission-critical processes and data
- A schedule for updating and testing any disaster recovery plan – testing is critical
- A clear understanding of the trade-offs between cost and complexity
If You Don’t Test it, How Do You Know That it is Working?
Testing is the lynchpin of any disaster recovery program. Without it, your business is kidding itself. If you are not testing Recovery Point Objective (RPO), then how do you know how 30 minutes of missing data will be reconstructed within your organization? How do you know that you can meet your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) without testing?
Murphy’s Law says that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have a plan and understand how it works.
If you are a business decision-maker, you might hand this over to your IT team. But it’s important to ask some questions to make sure you have full coverage for your business.
A few questions:
- Does your plan include an inventory of mission-critical business processes and data?
- When was the last time anyone reviewed your plan?
- When was the last time your plan has had a test?
- Do you have a protocol in place for updates and testing?
- How much depends on human intervention?
Evaluate Your Cloud Solution Options
During a disaster, humans have other priorities than failing over their virtual machines. Automating your solution is key to ensuring success.
A cloud solution such as Azure Site Recovery will help you recover quickly. – And it’s less expensive than having your own datacenter to support and protect.
It’s a practical solution for any business, but it makes especially good financial sense for a smaller organization.
But not all cloud providers are equal – so you’ll need to do some research to compare Azure Site Recovery to the competition.
A few considerations:
- Do they offer a hybrid solution so that you can keep some data on-premise as well as in the cloud?
- Do they offer metered service so that you can save even more money by ‘turning off’ services when you don’t need them?
- Is the service easy to use, with good support for your team?
- Do they offer geo-redundancy?
- Are they compliant with your industry?
The Importance of Geo-Redundancy Using Azure Site Recovery
You leverage the Microsoft cloud. That gives you verifiable geo-redundancy.
Geo-redundancy means that your data is in storage – and is duplicating – in more than one geographical region. So, when one area is hit by a hurricane, flood, criminal activity, or electrical storm, your data is safe in a datacenter across the country. More than that, geo-redundancy allows your data to be available – even during the disaster.
So, What Do You Need to Consider? – Complexity Vs. Costs
When you create your Disaster Recovery plan, you’ll need to weigh the trade-offs between complexity vs. costs.
- What data can you afford to be without?
- For how long?
- If you lost some data, would that destroy your business forever?
Five Parts of a Disaster Recovery Plan:
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
RPO defines how much data you are willing to lose. You can give higher priority to your most critical data, but be willing to lose less important data, such as pictures of Fluffy. Client records might be top of your list, while marketing data might rank lower.
- Recovery Time Objective(RTO).
RTO weighs how long you are willing to be without your data. Depending on your business, you might find that your business can be offline for only two (2) hours before you suffer unrecoverable losses. A shorter time will create higher costs, so you’ll need to consider your options carefully.
Who should get their data back sooner? Who will support the plan? Do you have a backup person as well as backup technology? Is your plan dependent on human intervention – which may not be possible in all cases?
- Regulatory Constraints
Is your business subject to regulatory compliance? How will you make sure you are covered
- Critical Data
Which data is critical to your business? What are the dependencies between different areas of the business?
Azure Site Recovery Checks All the Boxes!
But you need an IT support professional on your side to implement and maintain a robust disaster recovery plan.
The Intivix team will deploy Azure Site Recovery and create a disaster recovery plan within the Microsoft Azure portal for you. The disaster recovery plans can be as simple or as advanced as your business requirements demand.
Your business continuity and the safety of your data is HIGH PRIORITY.
We’re here to help you with all stages of strategy, planning, and implementation.