Cloud computing has changed the way businesses work, and legacy Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solutions aren’t up to the task of providing resilience in a highly dynamic environment. 

This article from Recovery Point Solutions explains why real-time visibility into your DR environment, frequent testing, and application-level recovery are essential to meeting your RTO and RPO. 

Highlights include: 

  • Knowing the threats and the lack of resiliency facing most organizations 
  • The three areas of visibility needed to determine your real RTO 
  • The critical need for application-level recovery

Whether it’s from natural disasters, cybersecurity, or human error, the threats faced by every IT organization are constantly changing. Having an up-to-date disaster recovery (DR) plan and DR environment is essential. 

But your DR plan is useful only if it works. Without regular testing and real-time visibility into what’s happening in a DR environment, your organization’s ability to fully recover its IT systems after a disaster may be grounded in untested assumptions and risky optimism. When was the last time you had a successful DR test? 

Without regular testing and real-time visibility into what’s happening in a DR environment, your organization’s ability to fully recover its IT systems after a disaster may be grounded in untested assumptions and risky optimism.”

Recovery Point’s patented, award-winning and globally recognized Business Process Resilience (BPR) is a managed solution that provides automated server-level and application-level recovery in combination with automated and supported training exercises to provide visibility, i.e., actionable insights, into your real Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs).

Your Business Is One Incident Away from Disaster

The numbers that come out of DR research and surveys are astounding. For example: 

  • The average cost of IT downtime is $336,000 per hour, and 33% of organizations report that a single hour of downtime costs between $1 and $5 million 
  • 54% of businesses have experienced prolonged downtime (over 8 hours) in the past 5 years 
  • 28% of companies have experienced data loss in the past 5 years 

YOU CAN’T STOP INCIDENTS

A few of the leading causes of IT downtime are third-party network provider failures, software failures, network congestion, and cyberattacks. It’s a jungle out there, and if you pay attention to how threats to your IT infrastructure and data often compound each other, you’ll be worried too (Figure 1). 

YOU CAN PREVENT DISASTER

A DR plan can guide an organization back to normal operations when incidents occur. With confidence in your DR plan and your ability to execute it, situations that would cause other organizations to fail become manageable, and the organization’s path and time to recovery are predictable. At least, that’s the theory. 

Research shows that most organizations struggle to meet even the most fundamental goals of their DR plan. According to a recent survey of IT professionals, more than 72% of businesses cannot meet their RTOs or Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs). 

To be able to meet your RTO and RPO, it’s critical to have visibility into what’s happening in your environment. This starts with knowing your real RTO.

Are You Sure About Your RTO ?

Without frequent testing and validation, your RTO is at best an educated guess and, at worst, wishful thinking. With regular, automated testing and real-time visibility, you gain certainty that starts with knowing what you have and what your actual risks are, and ends with the ability to monitor your assets, risks, and preparedness in real time—this is your “real” RTO. 

DO YOU KNOW YOUR RISKS? 

If you were to lose a critical system, how would it affect your business? The average cost of IT downtime is $336,000 per hour. For many organizations, the cost is much higher. A single minute of IT downtime can cost as much as $100,000. An unexpected threat that you’re unprepared for can result in an undetermined and possibly large amount of downtime. Knowing your risks and regularly testing your ability to mitigate them makes your IT environment and the organization more resilient. 

FOR EXAMPLE, IS YOUR ASSET DATABASE VALID? 

Increasing reliance on Cloud-hosted SaaS solutions brings with it a much larger and more dynamic list of digital assets that your organization must track and account for in your asset database. While distribution of services over multiple networks and providers reduces the risk of catastrophic data loss, it also leads to a situation where many of the services used by your business, some of them mission-critical, might not be included in the latest version of your DR plan. 

To be able to meet your RTO and RPO, it’s critical to have visibility into what’s happening in your environment. This starts with knowing your real RTO.”

A static asset database that’s not regularly compared with your production environment is nearly always out of date. When the time comes that you need to recover from an incident, an incomplete asset database increases your downtime and potentially causes data loss. If you have digital assets that aren’t tracked, you could lose data and not even know. 

GAIN CONFIDENCE WITH REAL -TIME VISIBILITY

Real-time visibility brings clarity around RTOs, RPOs, and a company’s preparedness. A DR environment that’s constantly updated, tested, and monitored provides assurance that RTOs and RPOs can be met. These practices allow the organization to be forward-thinking and to focus on its actual business.

Business Process Resilience Is About the Resilience of the Entire Business

According to a 2021 Gartner report, organizations that do DR well are 40% more likely to be in a better position than their less diligent competitors in terms of overall resilience. 

At the end of the day, the most important job of a business is to ensure that it will continue to operate and serve its customers. Most of an organization’s employees must be focused on core business processes or on directly supporting those processes. Disaster recovery, understandably, often takes a backseat to the visible and predictable threats that an organization faces, such as competition and market conditions. 

The benefits of Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solutions include: 

  • Developing a proactive stance when it comes to disaster recovery 
  • Ensuring that your disaster recovery plan is given dedicated attention, rather than part-time efforts of already overworked IT staff, thereby refocusing your talent on other business-critical needs 
  • Reducing your reliance on a small number of key staff members. 

SERVER-LEVEL VS. APPLICATION-LEVEL RECOVERY

DRaaS solutions are not all the same. Legacy DRaaS solutions provide recovery only to the server level. The assumption is that if the server on which your applications are hosted is restored, the applications on it are as well. This is a flawed assumption. Being able to log into a server isn’t helpful to the end user if the applications running on the server aren’t available. 

If you have digital assets that aren’t tracked, you could lose data and not even know.”

The only way to have complete confidence that your business processes can be recovered is to monitor and plan for the recovery of each individual application, and to test this recovery process regularly. 

DRAAS FRUSTRATION: CASE STUDY 

A large insurance company with over $1 billion in annual revenue was a longtime client of a DRaaS service provider. The company became frustrated that their provider couldn’t recover their Tier 1 applications within their defined 96-hour recovery window or even manage a single successful DR test. Furthermore, changes made to systems and applications were mishandled and never applied to the DR Environment. The client had no confidence in their ability to recover from a disaster and noted that, “We don’t plan real DR scenarios, they just happen.” 

After a successful proof-of-concept test with Recovery Point, the client began a three-month project to implement Recovery Point’s BPR solution. With Recovery Point, the company needs only 13 hours to recover more servers and applications than their former provider tried and failed to recover in 96 hours. “Because of the success of the recovery, we have available time to go through and figure out whether there is something we can change or update,” said the IT lead at the insurance company.

Benefits of Business Process Resilience DRaaS

Recovery Point’s BPR solution protects not only your servers, but also your business processes and mission-critical applications.

KNOW WHEN YOUR PRODUCTION AND DR ENVIRONMENTS DON’T MATCH

As more applications move to the Cloud, the ability to rapidly test and make changes to DR environments is critical. Featuring integrations with all major Cloud, infrastructures, applications, services, and operating systems, Recovery Point’s automated software platform brings greater awareness to what’s happening in an organization’s DR environment. 

ALWAYS ON

Your business is “always on,” so your recovery solutions should be too. BPR enables a single point for managing and monitoring your business process availability. BPR clients can access the BPR dashboard, shown in Figure 2. Key features of BPR include: 

  • Real-time reports on resilience metrics and solution performance 
  • Real-time compliance reporting and readiness status across your ecosystem 
  • “Ready to Recover” status reporting, which lets you know whether each application is ready for recovery 
  • Sandbox testing, which runs drills in a sandbox environment and ensures the detection of environment changes without impact on production systems 

At the end of the day, the most important job of a business is to ensure that it will continue to operate and serve its customers.”

ALLOW IT TO FOCUS ON CORE BUSINESS SERVICES

You’re moving to the Cloud because running a data center isn’t your core business. But Cloud computing has its own risks and complications. Having confidence that your RTO and RPO can be met in a hybrid environment frees up your IT staff to focus on more value-added activities, instead of constantly defending against worst-case scenarios. 

Featuring integrations with all major Cloud, infrastructures, applications, services, and operating systems, Recovery Point’s automated software platform brings greater awareness to what’s happening in an organization’s DR environment.”

Recovery Point’s Business Process Resilience solution can provide visibility into your real RTO while also alerting and managing discrepancies between your production and DR environments. At the end of the day, disaster recovery isn’t about recovering servers: It’s about resiliency and having confidence in your ability to continuously perform business processes. 

Schedule a demo at https://www.recoverypoint.com/ resiliency-portfolio/

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