Disaster recovery plan – what is the best solution for your business?

Among the most important business continuity measures a business needs to consider is its Disaster Recovery plan. This holds true for companies around the globe, but even more so for entities operating in a country where earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters have been known to occur. Having a good Disaster Recovery plan in place provides peace of mind every business should aim for.

Disaster Recovery Definition

A Disaster Recovery Solution, such as the one Sun Data World (SDW) offers, is a well planned, tailor made disaster and loss precaution that ensures business continuity in the case  a disaster event should ever occur. It ensures that when the customers primary IT system goes down, due to technical failure, human error or a natural disaster, the secondary system activates from the SDW Data centre, allowing critical applications to continue working.

Let’s take a bank for example. If the primary system fails due to a flood in the Data room, the banks clients would not be able to access their banks services such as online banking, ATMs, or even worse, client data could be permanently lost or damaged. Payments both incoming and outgoing, would be postponed or stopped. Total chaos would strike with full might. One hour of this kind of crash could potentially cost the bank huge amounts of money, or worse, it would cost them their reputation.

Disaster Recovery is a system used to mitigate such risks.

Disaster Recovery Options

There is more than one way to set up a recovery plan. Most decision makers see Disaster Recovery, like insurance, where you spend a lot of money on it and hope you will never need it. But if disaster strikes, your investment surely pays off. As you will see Sun data World has a different approach, billing customers only for actual resources used.

Some companies spend heavily to make sure they never lose a piece of data or a beat of uptime as this might severely impact their business.  The following three options are among the most commonly applied approaches to Disaster Recovery.

  • Building your own Disaster Recovery Centre at a secondary location

You may choose to take this project in-house. In order to do this properly, several important steps should be taken. You will need a detailed assessment of the assets and data that needs protecting and to define your tolerance for downtime and data loss. An estimate of the risks is next. How likely is it that a natural disaster may strike your primary location? What events may occur to crash your system? Do you have the proper HR and communications procedures in place. You will want to ask yourself what applications and data fall under which priority group. What is your tolerance for downtime for each? What is your tolerance for data loss for each?

Once you know the extend of the risk you need to mitigate, you need to build the secondary location optimised for the level of priority you defined. If you defined that all data and applications need to continue working, then you would have to completely replicate your primary system. If you define a certain smaller quantity of data and applications that need to be functional, you will need a smaller capacity DR.

However you decide, this option is very costly. You will need to lease or buy a secure secondary site, procure hardware, install power redundancy measures such as UPS’s and diesel generators, employ staff to maintain them and perform regular checks making sure the site is fully ready in case disaster strikes. This would all cost a pretty penny and would lay idle until the time the unwanted event occurs.

  • Colocation

Another option that is less expensive but also effective is to colocate your hardware for Disaster recovery purposes. You still need to procure hardware, but you wont have to build another site and would not have to invest in resources that you can have provided to you, by the colocation provider. The colocation Data centre would provide stable redundant power, including backup generators, cooling systems for the racks, and trained personnel to help you with routine care.

The hardware at the Colocation centre would be your own, and your access to it will be easy. Although the servers and hardware are yours, you would not need to employ and train full time staff to maintain them or the facility, considerably lowering your overall costs.

Managed in this way, the colocation option is a less expensive option, and in many ways preferable to building your own secondary site.

  • Cloud Computing and Storage

Probably the most effective Disaster Recovery option comes using Cloud computing. Some of the most important advantages include doing data backup in the cloud; keeping important data away from your main site where it is not subject to the same power, network, and weather fluctuations.

A good cloud-based disaster recovery solution should include Cloud computing resources (VPS and storage) to replicate customer’s IT systems, provide storage facilities to keep your backup data, and it should also be able to guarantee availability of computing resources to recover your system as fast as possible.

The biggest advantage in using a Cloud based Disaster Recovery solution is that you create a complete solution but only have to pay for the resources being used.

The Sun Data World Disaster Recovery Solution allows customers to pay continuously for the storing of the data and data backups but does not require customers to pay for the Disaster Recovery until the time a Disaster event occurs. Even then, you would pay only for the time the full solution was used. This provides customers huge savings and substitutes unnecessary CAPEX investments into hardware, facility and so on.

Best Practice in Disaster Recovery

We can define best practice here as those practices that companies have used widely to successfully navigate through disasters and recover quickly.

The following five steps are seen to be good and universally used –

  1. Make a written plan.  – Advanced preparation is worth its weight in gold. Document the plan and distribute it to everyone who needs to help get systems back running, making sure people have access even when systems are down;
  2. Keep data and backups offsite – A full copy of your data should be housed at a remote place which will not be hit by the same disaster that is affecting your primary site.
  3. Test your plan regularly – Schedule and rehearse actual scenarios regularly in order to make sure your plan will work.
  4. Updating the recovery plan as your business evolves – Your disaster recovery plan needs to adapt when your business or technology changes. An update to the disaster recovery plan must be included whenever you make any important changes. You should also, as much as possible, keep your cloud storage and computer provider apprised of any change;
  5. Make a plan for getting back to normal after a failover – Disaster Recovery plans, when they are successful, retrieve your backup data, applications, and systems and get them back to work. However, as soon as that happens you should be looking to return to a normal state of operations. This requires planning too.

Disaster Recovery from Sun Data World

Sun Data World, the first Ethiopian Data centre, is there to provide the pace of mind you need as a business, even in a Disaster Recover scenario. SDW was conceived and built to meet all these needs efficiently and often providing considerable cost savings to the customer. Sun Data World understands you need to have the best possible solution for Disaster Recovery.

Sun Data World’s Disaster recovery Cloud solution makes sense across the board, and our colocation service allows you to install your hardware at a state-of-the-art data facility and begin saving money immediately while boosting your output and efficiency!

Sun Data World is adapted to the needs of a modern world, matching the unprecedented opportunities and of Ethiopia, while being mindful of it impact on the environment. Sun Data World is powered by 100% renewable energy.

In considering your options for keeping your data safe and your business running, even in a crisis, you will want a Data centre that offers you fortified Cloud services, colocation, top of the line security, purpose-built facilities, transparent disaster recovery programs, scalability, and – of course – cost efficiency.

For more information, please contact us today at Sun Data World.