As technology evolves, the techniques to ensure system availability change as well
Organizational reliance on IT infrastructure has grown over the years. Many firms demand 100% uptime (or as close as possible), but how to ensure it has been morphing. The legacy approach is being usurped by cloud Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions from vendors like Amazon Web Services (AWS). The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted these services’ advantages and spurred even greater adoption.
Enterprises have always feared that natural and manmade disasters, such as hurricanes, database corruption, power outages, network failures, or flooding, would knock their computer systems offline. Without access to these systems, work grinds to a halt, and they lose money — increasingly lots of money.
Prepare for the Worst
But outages do occur. More than a third (34%) of all companies experienced severe IT service degradation and outages in the past year, while half (50%) had an outage or severe IT service degradation in the past three years, according to Uptime Institute.
In the past, enterprises have tried to minimize their losses by building backup data centers and switching all of their employees over to it. Building such work is an intricate, tedious process.
Corporations would first determine how quickly they need their IT systems back in the event of a disaster (Recovery Time Objective, RTO) and how many minutes of data they are prepared to lose or have to recreate (Recovery Point Objective, or RPO). Then they design an IT architecture and business continuity plan to meet those objectives. The more expensive the plan, the shorter the RTOs and the RPOs. Occasionally, they test the plan. This approach was challenging, time consuming, expensive, and inefficient, but implemented nonetheless because frankly, they had no other option.
A Better Option
With DRaaS, enterprises do not build backup datacenters. Instead, vendors like AWS, provide them with agile recovery services. These cloud solutions expand or contract instantly, deliver computer services to employees no matter where they are located, cost less than traditional backups, and can be tested more often.
The COVID-19 crisis has illustrated the value of such service agility. Virtually no corporation planned to shift their employees from central offices to their homes in an instant and then have them use their home networks to carry corporate data. But that is what transpired in March. Corporations that had traditional back-up systems struggled – and in some cases failed – to make the transition. Companies that deployed agile systems, like AWS, had more graceful transitions.
Embrace New Solutions
Increasingly, enterprises understand the potential benefits and are moving to these cloud options. Worldwide DRaaS revenue is expected to increase from $1.72 billion in 2016 to $12.54 billion in 2022, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 41.8%, according to MarketsandMarkets.
Creating a plan and selecting the right infrastructure to ensure that your computer systems will quickly recover if they are knocked offline is a challenging undertaking. Opti9, an expert AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, helps corporations find such solutions that fit their needs. Is it time to assess your disaster recovery plans?