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Selecting a Disaster Recovery Service Provider

As your data increases in volume and value, alongside rising threats of natural disaster, equipment malfunction, and cyberattack, it is prudent to consider working with a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider. When selecting such a partner, sometimes known as a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), it is important to look for experience, a technical reach that spans the full scope of your needs, and the willingness to customize services to fit your exact requirements.

As I’m sure you know, weather events such as fires, floods, and hurricanes are occurring with more frequency all around the globe. At the same time, ever since the first days of COVID, cybercrime has skyrocketed. That means your business is more likely than ever to experience an unplanned disruption of services.

In order to keep your company competitive, it is crucial to establish solid business continuity by putting a plan in place to recover from a disaster quickly and completely. A disaster recovery service provider can help you take that first step and avoid substantial loss. Smart business leaders today are taking action by working with technology management professionals to make disaster recovery planning a core component of everything they do.

The only sure way to minimize downtime and prevent catastrophic data loss is to establish redundant technologies. You will need a secondary source of power, the ability to create and store multiple copies of your data, and a “failover” infrastructure that switches to your backup network in the event of a disruption.

It has always been rather costly for organizations to build out a truly resilient system with all these necessary components, which is why DRaaS has been around for quite some time. As data has proliferated exponentially and threats have multiplied, the equipment costs of a reliable disaster recovery system have grown significantly. Managing DR by using secure cloud backup and recovery infrastructure offered by a disaster recovery service provider can eliminate virtually all of the capital costs associated with establishing a redundant system.

In researching DRaaS providers, make sure that all your workloads, infrastructure, and environments will be set up to reside in a redundant, enterprise-class data center that is monitored by the provider 24/7. Look for a provider that can help you turn CapEx into flexible OpEx by offering disaster recovery services for a monthly fee with a service level agreement (SLA) that allows you to strictly control your costs.

DRaaS: Continuity and Flexibility

After you choose a DRaaS provider, the first thing you will do is create a robust plan that includes solutions to efficiently restore your data and ultimately avoid disruptions to your operations. That will involve evaluating your current DR setup, developing a detailed DR plan from scratch, defining solutions, and providing for comprehensive DR testing.

Whether you are running a small-to-medium sized business or a large enterprise, budget constraints are always an issue, so you will want to establish priorities that allow for an acceptable level of risk. At the outset, you and your DRaaS provider will be wise to perform triage and determine which of your data is absolutely essential and will require immediate failover, and which can be brought back online soon after the dust settles. This risk assessment plan should call for continuous updates, especially if your infrastructure is constantly changing and expanding, as with most organizations.

One of the more crucial things to keep in mind when considering a disaster recovery provider is flexibility. While many providers offer one set of solutions to all of their clients, it is imperative to customize your plan to align with your network, your data, and your business needs.

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning are so closely linked that they are often spoken of as one thing, and technology management professionals refer to a BCP/DR plan. The business continuity element includes a set of actions aimed at ensuring that your company’s employees and assets are protected and prepared to resume operations following a disaster. This part of the plan will enable your business to continue to operate after the disaster recovery element has quickly mitigated the immediate negative effects of the business disruption.

A man with a headset looking concerned with screens showing storms behind him.

Secure Cloud Architecture

Both disaster recovery and business continuity require that your data is continually replicated from both physical and virtual environments to a secure data center or cloud infrastructure. To really get this right, you will want to work with a partner who can offer secure service delivery centers and physical sites for disaster recovery and business resumption.

Sometimes called High Availability Business Centers (HABC) or Business Resumption Centers (BRC), these facilities must be equipped with the most advanced fiber optic cable, redundant broadband, and power infrastructures. They must be in seismically stable and secure areas that are strategically chosen to be impervious to flood, fire, mudslides, or extreme weather. In the event of a disaster, there is a non-zero probability that you will immediately need temporary office space and equipment. Confirm that your provider can comfortably accommodate that need, which will require that they have access to secure business centers located close to airports nationwide.

Finally, a disaster recovery service provider should offer a workshop where they’ll help you evaluate your current situation and take the first steps toward developing a plan that meets all your recovery and continuity requirements.

I hope you found this information helpful. As always, contact us anytime about your technology needs.

Until next time,

Tim

Meet the Author
Tim Burke is the President and CEO of Quest. He has been at the helm for over 30 years.
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