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The Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan

By: Ernest Sampera on April 16, 2021

By now, you have probably heard about the OVH cloud data center fire. As the largest hosting provider in Europe, OVH had to quickly and directly acknowledge the damage and establish the path forward. The company advised customers to enact their own data loss recovery plans as multiple data centers were left unserviceable.

As OVH works to uncover the cause of the fire (now believed to be due to faulty uninterruptible power supplies, or UPSs) and analyze the losses, customers are left with big questions about their own disaster recovery capabilities — but also a newfound sense of the significance of these plans.

When push comes to shove, how will your company guarantee a disaster recovery plan is in place, regardless of where that data is located?

Good news: You can proactively institute a disaster recovery (DR) plan that works for your company, regardless of your data environment. Disaster recovery is a true discipline, and it can be applied to any environment, whether you're in the cloud and your disaster recovery plan lives in a data center with a 100% uptime SLA, or whether you have the opposite infrastructure.

Why Is Disaster Recovery So Important to Your Business?

The benefits of hosting data off-site or in the cloud are rarely lost on any modern business leader. Under a cloud model, the health of your hardware is the responsibility of another entity, giving you one less thing to worry about. You can enact brilliant, innovative ideas without being limited by your own physical space. Overall, you can be more flexible in your business's operations.

But that doesn't mean you can let concern for the welfare of your data fly out the window. The data still lives somewhere.

That's why the best infrastructure plans rely on data center disaster recovery as a critical component of threat management — and therefore, of overall business security. If you'd have a recovery plan for on-site data, you should have one for off-site data, too.

A proactive and effective data loss recovery plan that follows best practices guarantees you won't be caught unaware when disaster does strike. Otherwise, your business could become operationally stunted until your plan is built and enacted — a non-trivial effort — costing you opportunities and causing you significant reputational harm.

Downtime, as you've probably heard, costs a lot.

So, what can you do to ensure your data is protected in the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe, regardless of where that data lives?

Flexible Environments and Disaster Recovery

A truly flexible environment doesn't just mean you don't have to deal with your hardware and you have your data assets distributed. It requires more: a disaster recovery plan that matches the environment's limitations.

So, if your assets are fully in the cloud, where will your disaster recovery process live? If your assets are wholly in a data center, where will your disaster recovery process live? Finding the right place to build and enact disaster recovery plans — and guaranteeing these plans are fully fleshed out and actionable — should be major components of your data infrastructure strategy.

A full-fledged, high-value, dependable DR effort can take many forms, but every disaster recovery plan should feature some key components, including an initial risk analysis, asset inventory, backup procedures (and location redundancies) and communications plans.

Whether you want to build an infrastructure fully in the cloud, fully in a data center or a mix of the two, there's a path forward. But no matter what your infrastructure approach is, you need an effective data recovery loss plan at your company and/or a guarantee from your data center providers. Anything between just won't cut it.

What Happens When Disaster Strikes?

If you don't know the answer to this question relative to every place you store your data, it may be time to take a deeper look and reset. Your DR plans should be as robust in development as the data center locations themselves, so that when disaster strikes, the race to restore your data availability or your services is a short one.

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) takes your data center disaster recovery plan to the next level, replicating and hosting your data and applications off-site to ensure continuous uptime while you take recovery actions in response to a disaster.

Understanding the vitality of having a solid disaster recovery solution in place is the first step. With that in play, vXchnge can help facilitate a completely customizable DRaaS solution to meet the needs of your business.

That puts you several steps ahead of your competition and protects your brand — and that's what a flexible, dependable data infrastructure is really all about.

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