SHTF – It’s a messy mental image, but for those of you that know these scenarios, it fits the chaos of the dystopian moments such as what happened at the Port of Beirut in 2020, or during the Texas Snovid Arctic Front in 2021, or more recently when Russia attacked Ukraine. However, the more you know about how to mitigate these sorts of massive disasters, the better prepared and at ease you will be. If disaster preparedness sounds like something that applies to your business (it does), consider identifying where your company is on the spectrum of data use (static vs. dynamic) and whether or not your IT and technology departments have identified the boundaries between responsibility and liability. Once this information is collected, you can begin to think about what happens when “it” hits the fan so you’re ready if it does.
Slow and Costly
In the world of IT, traditional disaster recovery is well-established in its redundancies and recovery times. It also includes a variety of concepts and practices that are simply obtuse in today’s dynamic data environments. These approaches often came with limitations on flexibility and scalability. There is also the matter of investment: in order to take advantage of these benefits, there is a high initial investment in terms of hardware and configuration which can be costly for businesses, especially if they’re located across multiple sites. Companies that use traditional disaster recovery host servers at either local or remote locations that require maintenance, licensing, and parallel monitoring. The task of preserving valuable business resources is exponentially more difficult, time consuming, and costly than more modern solutions – especially when it is not unheard of for recovery to take hours or even days to failover under conditions where local services are lost.
Enter Cloud Technologies
With the advent of cloud technologies, cloud disaster recovery has changed everything by eliminating the need for traditional infrastructure for data recovery purposes. This has significantly reduced downtime in IT departments that use this service as they are able to harness power of the cloud at immediate spin up or fail over time after an incident occurs. At its most basic level, disaster recovery in cloud computing is performed by replicating data from a primary site to a cloud service. In case of a disaster, the data can be failed over to a different environment and resources with minimal downtime.
Many cloud computing services are provided on a pay-as-you-go basis and can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Other cloud resources can be reserved through longer commitments to help reduce costs. Perhaps the most important feature of cloud backup and disaster recovery systems is that these environments can be programmatically automated, requiring minimal input. With the right configuration in place, cloud-based disaster recovery will be able to restore your entire environment in just minutes or less.
Cloud-based disaster recovery provides a powerful way for businesses of all sizes, whether they’re large corporations or startups without the resources on hand themselves, to protect against outage risks while continuing normal operations during emergencies. With the right approach, organizations can satisfy their recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) needs with cloud data recovery. It is important for organizations to evaluate each potential offering for factors such as reliability or recurring costs before committing any long-term investments into this area of business continuity planning.
Prepping for Disasters
The lessons for C-Levels are that disaster recovery, backup systems, and business continuity planning can no longer be regarded as luxuries, in today’s uncertain environment. Our duty as IT professionals is to build redundancy and disaster recovery to recover from such events. Redundancy is a critical IT principle, but when components begin to sequentially fail, returning to operation is an equally great critical business priority. The IT community must put value into routine risk assessments. Technology departments and the executives that drive organizations cannot wait to react if something goes wrong. Risk assessment and corresponding actions are top priorities that cannot be left to lower-level IT executives or staff. From beginning to end, CEOs, the entire C-suite, and the board must keep complete visibility and priority.
The hyper-scale availability of cloud services in disaster recovery is one of the greatest innovations available to business today. Advanced computing and networking power is both simpler and more powerful than ever before and exponentially scalable when needed during emergencies and “SHTF” scenarios. Many companies will not need anything else but this one service: continuous remote deployment capabilities backed up seamlessly through off site storage facilities. With the power of a cloud that is everywhere when needed, a disaster mess is something that becomes much simpler and faster to navigate.