Disaster recovery solutions within everyone’s reach

Roberto Maino A.
Director Nuevos Negocios y Control de Gestión

These days organizations are required to deliver high quality services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and any service interruption will result in financial losses. According to Gartner these losses are estimated at US$ 5,600 per minute of inactivity, and cause long term damage to the organization’s reputation. When a service becomes inactive in the private sector, customers can switch to the competition with relative ease. Lost access to fundamental public services can erode public confidence in governmental institutions; and at health institutions it can endanger the patient's life.

A prime example of an unexpected disaster on a large scale was the data center interruption that Delta Airlines experienced on August 8, 2016, which caused hundreds of flights to be paralyzed for six hours and affected thousands of people around the world.

Therefore, people are becoming less tolerant of any kind of service interruption, and news about interruptions spreads quickly in today’s hyper-connected world, which makes it very difficult to repair damaged reputations. As a result, key business executives demand much higher levels of IT service availability. Discussions about acceptable downtime and data loss have evolved over the past few years from a matter of hours to minutes to seconds and now many organizations require continuous availability.

Advances in technology have significantly affected the way that business executives and IT professionals develop their business continuity and disaster recovery plans (BC/DR). These two closely related plans are designed to keep an organization functioning every day, covering both daily challenges and unforeseen risks such as a natural disasters, and more recent threats such as ramsonware. Although these two terms are clearly different, their combined effect means that business executives and IT professionals must now work together to develop a strong and holistic BC/DR plan.

Business executives frequently make the mistake of assuming that backing-up data is sufficient to keep the business functioning in the event of a disaster. Unfortunately, a back-up is only one part of the equation, similar to having a flat tire and a spare, but without the tools to fit the spare and keep the vehicle moving.

Traditional BC/DR solutions are costly and complex to implement, test, and manage. They are being replaced by new and innovative recovery solutions using cloud-based services, which eliminate complexity and capital investment and replace them with flexibility and deployment ease. Cloud-based DR solutions enable companies with limited resources to implement robust and integrated strategies.

The effectiveness of most cloud-based DR solutions can be measured at any time throughout the year through regular testing and without stopping production, to ensure that applications, data and replicated IT environments will successfully appear at another site.

A Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution enables organizations to avoid investing in and maintaining their own disaster recovery environment. Furthermore, they do not need to concern themselves with recruiting the appropriate in-house expertise to provide, configure and test a disaster recovery plan. A DRaaS solution should be designed with a special focus on both the recovery speed (usually called RTO - Recovery Time Objective) and the data volume that is not synchronized in the event of a disaster (RPO - Recovery Point Objective), the latter being an extremely important point, especially for transactional businesses.

SONDA uses various tools that have been integrated into our Enterprise Cloud, which provide almost real-time replication with RPOs of 10 seconds or higher. Some tools have journals that allow flexible recovery points, which become very important with the growing threat from ransomware, and enable the organization to return to a specific point in time before a ransomware attack.

SONDA has a suite of DRaaS solutions to help organizations achieve their IT service availability and data protection objectives, together with key features for business executives, such as minimal IT service restoration time, pay per use options, priorities assigned to data and workload restoration, and the flexibility to perform tests to confirm that adequate protection is in place in the event of a disaster.