Of IT resilience and business recovery: From days to hours to minutes to seconds with 6 capabilities Posted on December 6, 2016 by Tim Burke As I’ve noted, IT resilience requires designing for the continuous availability of all business processes, workflows, technologies, and policies needed for always-on operations. To do this, you need outwardly-focused, cloud-conscious backup and business recovery solutions able to provide continuous data protection and end-to-end recovery automation regardless of what’s in your IT environment or how/where it changes. Achieving IT resilience: 6 capabilities Such resilience demands new kinds of capabilities. Here are the 6 that top my list: 1 Availability to help you avoid data loss, quickly restore operations, and maintain your company’s reputation. This is about more than Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) – the real impact to your business comes from Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs), since you can’t resume normal operations after a disruption until data’s completely restored and systems are fully operational. For that, you no longer have days. You sometimes have mere seconds. Required: continuous data protection, RTOs measured in minutes, RPOs measured in seconds. 2 Agility, so you can optimize costs, incorporate new technologies, and evolve your IT strategies to match changing business conditions and technologies. Required: hardware independence as well as support of heterogeneous hypervisors and a multi-cloud environment. 3 Visibility to ease management, make application performance more consistent, seamlessly migrate workloads, enable your environment to adapt to variability, and benefit from self-healing process automation. Required: VM-centric replication, real-time virtual domain monitoring, and native public cloud support. 4 Predictive/prescriptive analytics to assess risks and launch processes to avoid disruption and streamline recovery. Required: tools able to capture and analyze appropriate metadata. 5 Automation and orchestration to handle replication of multiple data tiers, accommodate extensive data change, and eliminate the need for lengthy evening/weekend scheduled replication. Via scripts, automation codifies the manual steps comprising the actions of independent components, while orchestration generates a workflow that directs and integrates those components. This simplifies management of business recovery automation and can reduce RTOs. Required: selectable recovery objectives, prioritization based on tiers and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and DR testing based on automated, non-disruptive workflows. 6 Extensibility, so automation and orchestration can be enabled across platforms, seamless workflows can be constructed, and secure authentication and compliance ensured. Required: pre-packaged integrations, internet-friendly RESTful APIs, and integration with directories (AD and LDAP) for authentication. IT resilience boosts business resilience IT resilience is about business resilience and should be planned at the business process level so your most critical systems, applications, and devices can be recovered first and in the right sequence – since the wrong order can trigger costly, preventable delays. And if your enterprise is like many – relying on a complex of ever-changing, cloud-conscious IT services, products, and technologies that must provide continuous availability – don’t hesitate to tap the business continuity/disaster recovery planning expertise of a trusted technology advisor.