There was a time when many organizations rolled the dice with limited or non-existent IT Disaster Recovery (DR) plans for their business. Unless they were very large companies who understood the risk or were regulated industries (i.e. Banks, Financial Organizations, Pharma, Healthcare, etc.) they simply ignored the risk. However, those were the days when resiliency typically came at a significant cost. While many IT leaders highlighted the risk, the organization as a whole looked the other way, focusing their investments in other parts of the business. However, while there is still a cost associated with this, the options to provide resiliency have increased while the cost continues to decrease in providing a level of preparedness that can meet the goals of most organizations.
Cloud Based IaaS
Regardless of the infrastructure stack you are running, there is likely a cloud based infrastructure as a Service offering. With zero or very limited capital outlay, organizations have substantial IT firepower at their disposal – ready when required. Yes, there are costs associated with replication and connectivity, but these services have substantially decreased the costs associated with this level of resiliency. Based on an organization’s RTO and RPO, solutions from simple replication with the ability to “turn up” capacity as required to true Active/Active scenarios, there is a cost effective model to meet any demand.
Software as a Service
Software as a Service for key applications is becoming more commonplace. Inherently, most of these services have built-in resiliency. However, understanding each provider’s resiliency is a key component of any due diligence. Additionally, understanding how each application interacts with and fits into an organization’s overall business continuity plan is critical. Just assuming a SaaS model provides the resiliency and can continue to operate while other systems fail can leave IT leaders in a vulnerable spot in a true emergency.
Converged & Hyper-Converged Infrastructures
With the emergence of converged and hyper-converged products, deployment and upkeep on remote systems has dramatically decreased. Integrated systems can now be deployed to remote locations to provide resiliency for entire infrastructure stacks or a subset of key systems. Ongoing maintenance of these systems is simplified and the cost of ongoing support is drastically reduced.
Software Defined WAN opens up a number of options for providing redundancy for the network. In the past, network connectivity to remote locations has added to the cost barriers of providing necessary resiliency. SD-WAN reduces the reliance on more expensive private WAN solutions, opening the door for more options to improve redundant connectivity to remote locations.
And the list goes on… I’ve barely scratched the surface of the options available to IT leaders that enable them to provide the resiliency required to ensure key systems are available to the business during unplanned outages. The multitude of options at different cost levels provide no room for an IT leader to leave themselves unprepared for an unplanned outage.
While the options for building in resiliency have exploded, finding and architecting the right solution can be difficult. Technologies continue to leapfrog each other with rapid advancement in capabilities. The key is finding the right partner to help wade through the options and develop the solution that meets the needs of each individual organization.
ROVE | VP, Professional Services