Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Uh oh, downtime!

Downtime by Quest

The impacts of downtime on a business can be devastating, as this cringe–inducing chart reveals:


Downtime impacts
Downtime impacts by Quest
Source: 3 Steps to IT Resilience, Forrester

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What Kind of Cloud Customer Are You?

When clients contemplating a move to the cloud ask for advice, we tell them to start by being realistic about what cloud computing actually offers.

Yes, the cloud frees budgets from constant investment in infrastructure, reducing CapEx expenditure.

But the cloud is a technology, not a solution that will automatically deliver benefits like faster time-to-market or streamlined methods or a fix for personnel or process issues within your enterprise.

Next, we advocate a know thyself approach. You’ll get the most out of a cloud implementation by understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re certain about having access to the technical talent you’ll need to get from purchase to actual delivery of services, then go it alone.

If you’re less certain about what to do once you’ve ordered up servers and terabytes of data, you’ll want some help — which brings us to the last bit of advice: know thy cloud provider.

Cloud providers, like cloud computing itself, come in a dizzying array of options.

So don’t let a cloud provider tell you there’s only one way to get something done. Those vendors are trying to sell you their product rather than a solution that fits your business.

But you can in fact get exactly what you need without giving up the economies of scale the cloud promises. Ask a trusted technology advisor how.

Planning a digital strategy for a volatile future

Digital Strategy for a Volatile Future by Quest

As I noted in my last post, new information technologies are likely to impact your business sooner than you’d like, so remaining reactive and focused on only the short-term has never been more dangerous.

You need to generate a forward-looking digital strategy to keep your enterprise competitive. If you find this easier said than done, you’re not alone — only about a quarter of businesses have a coherent digital strategy.

Yet without the IT planning that produces an effective digital strategy, you face a real possibility of surprise technological disruption in your industry and to your enterprise.
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Disruptive technologies:
Coming soon to an industry sector near you

Disruptive Technologies by Quest

Anyone familiar with Uber or Airbnb will agree that well-deployed disruptive technologies can be dramatic and industry-upending. Even so, if your business earns its living far from such events, you may think you have years yet before needing to deal with “anything like that.”

You might want to think again, however. This season’s analyst predictions about 2016* stand out for their warnings about the reach and speed of disruptive technologies.
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2 Steps to Choosing a Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery (DR) Provider

Disaster Recovery Best Practices - Quest

Disaster Recovery is one of those best practices you can’t imagine needing – until your business gets hit by a power failure, bad weather, or a single-point-of-system failure you didn’t realize was there.

Suddenly, you need help. You need the right provider with the right solution, right now. In my last post, I reviewed the reasons why a cloud-based Disaster Recovery solution may be the best proactive measure for sustained resilience and outright prevention.

It remains sound advice – but how do you choose the right provider of cloud-based DR services? Continue reading

The Recovery Gap – Part 2: A Short List of 5 Best Recovery Practices

360-degree arrow concept

In my last post, I shared some sobering numbers from a recent study by the DRP Council on how well  and not well  organizations recover from disruptions. Many of the problems revealed in the study can, I believe, be attributed to four causes:

  • Inadequate recovery plans that don’t anticipate the types of events that actually occur
  • Insufficient plan documentation and lack of compliance reporting
  • Not nearly enough recovery plan testing
  • Failing the recovery tests that do occur

All of this is eminently understandable  it’s hard to focus budget and time on what we prefer to regard as unlikely possibilities.

So here’s my first recovery best practice: think of your recovery plan as the best way to keep those possibilities unlikely, because when they do happen, they cost plenty. Continue reading

The Recovery Gap – Part 1: Online Presence and Prudent Preparation

Bridging the gap concept

Online presence has never been more important to your business  but behind it lurks immense technical complexity. The sort of complexity that produces things like software, network and power failures, and human error.

So, of course, it’s prudent to prepare ways to recover from such failures, mistakes and vagaries of nature, which is why so many organizations  a majority, according to a recent study by the DRP Council  deploy some sort of secondary recovery site. Though, less than 10% use cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Continue reading

Are you buying a service — or an illusion?

Handshake in gray

Imagine discovering that for the last 12 months none of your company data had been backed up at your designated co-lo.

Worse, you only found this out because your corporate site has suffered a catastrophic failure. All your data has been lost — and you have no way to retrieve it.

You’re outraged, of course, and you want answers. How could your co-lo provider fail to back up your data? What about your provider’s vaunted disaster recovery service? Who is responsible for allowing this to happen?  Continue reading

Why cloud DR pays off in a mission-critical IT world

Not so long ago, the best way to assure your organization would survive a major disruption involved building — and continuously paying for — a dedicated recovery site. Like so many early-generation IT solutions, this one was unaffordable for most smaller businesses.

Happily, the very technologies that generate disruption-causing complexity (see my last post) also provide the kinds of cost-effective capabilities, such as real-time replication and managed disaster recovery services, that today’s heavily mission- and business-critical IT environments require. Continue reading

Look What’s Really Causing IT Disasters

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According to one expert, U.S. enterprises lose $1.2 trillion each year from IT failures. Although this figure gets debated, everyone agrees it’s a whole lot of money.

These losses — and the downtime that triggers them — tend to be caused by the mundane rather than the spectacular, as recent Forrester/Disaster Recovery Journal research shows: Continue reading