IT teams are struggling with choosing between less critical, but important tasks, versus focusing on projects to help transform their business, according to Sarah Doherty, Product Marketing Manager at iland.
She said that while both are necessary for your business and need to be actioned few are thinking should their teams do all of it?
Doherty said disaster recovery can take a lot of time to properly implement so it may be the right time to consider a third-party provider who can help with some of the more routine and technical aspects of your disaster recovery planning. This help can free up some of your staff’s valuable time while also safeguarding your vital data.
“Information technology has raised many questions about how it really should be done. Some experts favour the Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) approach. They believe that data protection, although necessary, has very little to do with core business functionality. Organisations commonly outsource non-business services, which has driven many to consider the idea of employing third parties for other business initiatives. This has led some companies to believe that all IT services should be outsourced, enabling the IT team to focus solely on core business functions and transformational growth”, she said.
Other groups challenge the concept and believe that the idea of outsourcing data protection is foolish. An organisation’s ability to quickly and completely recover from a disaster – such as data loss or an organisational breach – can be the determining factor as to whether the organisation will remain in business. Some may think that outsourcing something as critical as data protection, and putting your organisation’s destiny into the hands of a third party, is a risky strategy.
Doherty believes both sides have some compelling arguments. On the one hand, by moving your data protection solution to the cloud, your organisation becomes increasingly agile and scalable. Storing and managing data in the cloud may also lower storage and maintenance costs. On the other hand, managing data protection in-house gives the organisation complete control. Therefore, a balance of the two approaches is needed in order to be sure that data protection is executed correctly and securely.
Cloud disaster recovery is flexible and scalable; it allows an organisation to replicate business-critical information to the cloud environment either as a primary point of execution or as a backup for physical server systems. Furthermore, the time and expense to recover an organisation’s data is minimised, resulting in reduced business disruption.
Consequently, the disadvantages of local backups is that it can be targeted by malicious software, which target backup applications and database backup files, proactively searching for them and fully encrypting the data. Additionally, backups, especially when organisations try to recover quickly are prone to unacceptable Recovery Point Objectives (RPO), Doherty said.
What to look for when evaluating your cloud provider
It is also essential when it comes to your online backups to strike a balance between micromanaging the operations and completely relinquishing any sort of responsibility. After all, it’s important to know what’s going on with your backups. Given the critical nature of the backups and recovery of your data, it is essential to do your homework before simply handing over backup operations to a cloud provider. There are a number of things that you should look for when evaluating a provider, she said.
- Service-level agreements that meet your needs.
- Frequent reporting, and management visibility through an online portal.
- All-inclusive pricing.
- Failover assistance in a moment’s notice.
- Do it yourself testing.
- Flexible network layer choices.
- Support for legacy systems.
- Strong security and compliance standards.
These capabilities can go a long way towards allowing an organisation to check on their data recovery and backups, on an as-needed basis, while also instilling confidence that the provider is protecting the data according to your needs. The right provider should also allow you the flexibility to spend as much or as little time on data protection, proportional to your requirements, Doherty said.
Ultimately, using cloud backups and DRaaS is flexible and scalable; it allows an organisation to replicate business-critical information to the cloud environment either as a primary point of execution or as a backup for physical server systems. In most cases, the right disaster recovery provider will likely offer you better recovery time objectives than your company could provide on its own, in-house. Therefore as you review your options, cloud DR could be the perfect solution, flexible enough to deal with an uncertain economic and business landscape, she added.