June 1st marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, signaling the start of a period of potential critical damage. With the season quickly approaching, many organizations are anxiously preparing for the natural disaster. In a situation like this, it’s helpful to have some guidelines that are specific to the current problem. Solutions Review had the opportunity to speak with Todd Matters, Chief Architect and Co-Founder of Rackware, about the importance of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) during this time. With ten years of experience at Rackware, Matters was able to give insight on how to best make DRaaS a priority during a disaster, as well as how to avoid three prominent DRaaS challenges.
Develop a Comprehensive DRaaS Plan
The first of the DRaaS challenges is actually having a well-documented plan that has been tested and proven to work. This sounds obvious, but given the number of companies caught without an effective plan in place, it’s harder than one might think. There are 3 aspects to this challenge: implementing a plan, ensuring it’s well-documented, and, finally, having it tested. This final stage is vital because testing ensures that things work as they should. Documentation cannot be ignored either. This is because personnel that may not have been intimate with the plan or the testing processes are often responsible for executing failovers, which occur when standby equipment automatically takes over after main system failure.
Create Two Separate DRaaS Teams
The second challenge involves having the discipline to maintain two trained teams in different geographies. Often in a failover event, the personnel at the origin site are not able to perform the operation. Because of this, RackWare’s best practices include defining two trained teams in different geographies who are able to perform the failover operations. Enterprises tend to ignore items such as this one until the need for disaster recovery requires it, but failing to consider it will cause a major headache after a hurricane.
Figure Out When the Right Time to Perform a Datacenter Failover Is
The third challenge is deciding when to pull the trigger on a datacenter failover event versus something less comprehensive, or to just wait. Events like earthquakes and hurricanes make the decision easy because the origin site is down, and it will likely be down for a long period of time. But, many events are not as straightforward. With an extended power outage, it might make sense to run on battery backup instead of executing a full failover. In the event of a flood, no one knows for sure just how high the watermark will peak. Defining policies upfront for all types of eventualities will help make failover decisions easier when the time comes to confront disaster.
With this year’s hurricane season at our door, it’s best to be prepared. Even a natural disaster won’t cause much damage to your data if your business is ready and has the proper procedures in place. Be wary of these DRaaS challenges from Rackware when disaster recovery planning all year round, but particularly during hurricane season.
Looking for more information on backup and disaster recovery solutions? Consider downloading our Disaster Recovery as a Service Buyer’s Guide! This free resource gives you the ability to compare the top 23 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide also offers five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask your software provider before purchasing. It’s the best resource for anyone looking to find the right backup and disaster recovery solution for their organization. Additionally, consider consulting our Backup and Disaster Recovery Buyer’s Guide, as well as our new Data Protection Vendor Map, to assist you in selecting the right solution for your business.
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