No Down Time Allowed
Severe weather and other natural disasters have reinforced the importance of developing, managing, and maintaining business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) plans for large and small organizations alike. Because today’s organizations rely so heavily on IT for sustained operations, careful continuity planning is essential, with multiple provisions for emergency power, communications, mirrored computing sites, and secure off-site data storage.
A business continuity plan encompasses strategies and solutions to help ensure continuous uptime and high availability of IT systems as well as secure and swift data storage, backup, and recovery. For example, a physical or virtual business continuity solution that enables you to automate movement of data can help you optimize performance and security at an acceptable cost/performance ratio, while enabling seamless failover.
Built-in Disaster Recovery
From a business continuity perspective, virtualization can simplify disaster recovery by reducing the number of physical machines. It offers numerous ways to build a DR solution that scales alongside your virtual servers to protect your infrastructure and maintain access to data.
Unlike traditional environments, virtualization allows you to consolidate multiple applications on a single machine in the recovery data center for maximum efficiency. The ability to recover quickly from failure is a huge benefit.
Although a virtual machine is independent of the physical hardware that it’s running on, you still need protection against failures within physical server hardware. Reducing the amount of hardware means that the availability of each physical server becomes more important. Loss of a server within a virtualized environment affects each VM running on the platform. This must be factored into business continuity planning.
Integrating DR capabilities into your virtual environment from day one lets you take advantage of the scalability that virtualization offers. A key strategy is to look at virtualization and DR as a combined unit. Put aside the notion that disaster recovery means a 1:1 ratio of live to redundant machines. What you really need is a flexible solution that grows to match your requirements as they evolve.
DR for Small and Remote Offices
It is just as essential for small and remote offices to have a plan in place to recover critical data and get up and running after a disruption. Back up your data regularly and frequently and rotate and replace your backup media periodically. Test your restore process, and if you have issues, take time to resolve them. Don’t wait for an emergency to try to restore your data for the first time.