Developing the IT resilience your enterprise needs Posted on September 5, 2017 by Tim Burke These days, most enterprise systems, applications, and workloads are deemed mission- or business-critical. So, in addition to redundancy and high availability, discussions about business continuity and disaster recovery focus on IT resilience architectures employing multiple geographically-distributed data centers that use live application failover to prevent downtime. Such architectures are fast becoming must-haves in our always-on world where anything beyond a miniscule outage can be very costly (“millions per minute” in extreme cases) and therefore unacceptable. A multi-site resilience strategy Besides your own data center(s), the typical instruments of an IT resilience architecture – cloud services, managed services, and co-location – are now widely used. Workloads that would once have resided in on-site data centers have been sent to “the cloud” by two-thirds of enterprises, and roughly the same portion use multiple data centers and live application failover. Still, an IT resilience architecture doesn’t just happen. It has to be designed in accordance with a multi-site resilience strategy unique to the needs of your enterprise. We all face moments when our best (or only) options force us to be reactive rather than proactive. A few moments like that – say, as your organization fends off outages with a cloud service, then perhaps overcomes a few component failures via a small co-lo contract – and voilà!, you have defaulted into an informal, ad hoc multi-site resilience strategy. But a “strategy” you’ve backed into reactively will have risky gaps and vulnerabilities – and plenty of expensive inefficiencies. Sooner rather than later, it’s likely to fail you. How to make IT resilience effective and affordable That’s why taking top-down control of your multi-site resilience strategy should now be considered a business essential even for small organizations. As I described in my last post, doing this involves many decisions related to business continuity and disaster recovery planning. And don’t forget the due diligence so necessary to bringing aboard the right technology consultant with that special crossbreed of expertise – an ability to understand and translate your enterprise’s business goals and requirements into effective, efficient resilience processes, configurations, and solution capabilities. The right technology consultant can help you figure out what applications and workloads can and/or should be off-sited (or not), and which services (cloud, managed, co-lo) in which combinations are best suited to your performance, security, compliance, recovery, and cost requirements. Even if your IT shop includes a deep stable of in-house expertise – and especially if it doesn’t – you’ll need to stay abreast of quickly evolving technologies and architectures that can, when properly implemented, keep your business humming. A technology consultant with extensive experience designing and deploying customized IT resilience strategies and solutions will make all the difference.