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Building a robust BCDR strategy

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Businesses of all sizes face an increasing amount of risks, from natural disasters and power outages to human error and cyber-attacks. To date, companies worldwide are giving due priority to building a robust Business Continuity (BC) or Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy. This strategy is designed to provide IT Resilience. BCDR strategy development is vital, yet not always an easy task.

Today’s business IT infrastructure has become complex and sophisticated as the volume of diverse data and workloads is increasing. That being said, a successful BCDR strategy should enable your company to avoid stopping production, or minimize the downtime, in order to restore access to critical business applications without any data loss, as quickly as possible.

The essential points of a robust BCDR strategy are as follows:

1. Perform risk and impact analysis

Performing risk assessments, which are common for businesses, is a key starting point. Understanding the unique set of threats and risks that a company may face, is an essential component of an effective backup or Disaster Recovery strategy implementation.

Business remains vulnerable to any data loss and downtime, so it becomes critical to consider the impact after any type of disaster, which can lead to financial threats, productivity interruption, and customer and/or reputation loss. When building a successful BCDR strategy, companies should assess disaster implications along with the cost of downtime.

2. Identify business priorities and requirements - define RPO and RTO values

To create an effective BCDR strategy, companies should also consider all items of the business recovery requirements, and recognize critical workloads and processes. It is important to establish a roster of business applications and services that are vital for your Business Continuity.

RPO (Recovery Point Objective), and RTO (Recovery Time Objective) values are key performance indicators, which reflect the efficiency of the overall BC/DR strategy of the company.

Every company needs to define optimal RPO and RTO values for its critical business applications and services. RTO determines the minimum period of recovery time, answering the question of how long it takes to recover from the incident and how long this application may be unavailable. RPO measures the time limit between the last data backup and failure occurrence; it helps determine how often it is necessary to run data replications.

RPO and RTO values could be defined individually, not only for different companies but for different applications and services within each company. For example, an RTO can range from 15-20 minutes to restore machines in one tier of a protected group, to 150-200 minutes to restore machines in another tier protected group.

3. Choose a software solution for BCDR strategy implementation

After the company identifies optimal RTO and RPO values, it is necessary to choose the BCDR solution that will be best suited for business priorities and requirements of critical workloads and recovering applications.

Cloud computing technologies have changed the way companies approach BCDR. At present, cloud BCDR has taken a strong lead in the IT market, as a cost-effective and robust solution to provide IT Resilience and Business Continuity for companies in any sector.

Hystax has a strong presence in the BCDR market, and provides companies of all sizes with industry-leading, fully automated BCDR software with a click.

How it works

  1. Replication
  • Install agents
  • Replicate:
      • Create volumes in the cloud
      • Save data to the volumes
      • Create volume snapshots
  1. Recovery
  • Create DR plan
  • Start failover from DR plan
  • Create volume from snapshot
  • Boot VM from the volume
  1. Failover (customer’s site)

15 tried and true reasons to implement the Hystax industry-leading BCDR solution:

1. Fully-automated on-premise and cloud BCDR
2. Supports all source and target platforms – use MS Azure, AWS, or GCP as a failover cloud
3. RTO/RPO of seconds and minutes, not hours and days – no loss of data
4. Block-level replication between clouds, regions, or availability zones – application consistency guaranteed
5. Fully isolated process with no middleware
6. Builds network connectivity between production and DR sites
7. Smart data deduplication and WAN optimization
8. Cross-cloud BCDR
9. Significant TCO cost reduction
10. Full coverage with RESTful API – Hystax Acura is 100% covered with RESTful API. Enables easy automation and integration with current management systems
11. Sophisticated role-based access management and audit – manage user access and assign granular roles to various resources. Quickly and easily view and export audit logs
12. Logs collected in one place – logs from all customers are concentrated in one place and available for instant troubleshooting
13. Flexible reports and event notifications – get full resource utilization reports and configure all level event notifications
14. Custom PSA Integration – integrate the solution with existing PSA systems – automatically create and file tickets
15. Deduplicated storage and configurable retention policies – optimized resource utilization with unique deduplication technologies. Flexible snapshot retention policies

4. Build a critical response team

Prompt and immediate team action in the case of an emergency could significantly reduce downtime. In addition to training the appropriate people, it is critical to creating instructions or technical documentation, which describes the steps of the BCDR plan and covers the process of handling an unexpected event.

5. Test BCDR solution

Ensuring your BCDR solution actually works is an equally important part of a robust BCDR strategy. Disaster Recovery testing is a multi-step practice of the Disaster Recovery plan implementation, designed to assure that critical data, workloads, and business will be restored if an actual disaster occurs. Regular testing in the production environment enables companies to get a workable DR strategy aimed to provide effective IT Resilience and Business Continuity.

Conclusion

Downtime or data loss shouldn’t be a characteristic of a modern company with a reliable IT environment. Disasters happen and can quickly spin out of control. The best way to stand ready for any unpredictable events is to build a robust BCDR strategy, which provides IT Resilience and Business Continuity for your company and protect the company from devastating consequences.

Read more about the risks of not being prepared for a disaster in our previous article.

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