Every DR effort revolves around what needs to take place during a disruption. And, as you walk through the process of building a DR plan (if you haven’t already), you’re going to find that what you need to deliver and what you can deliver are two very different things.
There are many reasons why you have gaps in your plan (whether it’s been built or not):
- You’re Not Focused on Continuity – The tone is set right there in the name: Disaster Recovery. Way too many organizations are thinking about how to recover the current environment and are not necessarily making plans to establish true continuity in the face of potential disruptions. In some cases, continuity may not be financially feasible for your organization, thus the need for a recovery-focused plan. As you begin the walk through building a plan and have discussions around what the organization needs of IT for certain business functions, you’ll quickly realize the best you can do today is recover.
- Your Recovery Windows Are Getting Smaller – Recovery (and, therefore, backup) windows used to be measured in hours or days. Today, organizations with critical workloads that are expected to always be on are now measuring recover objectives in terms of single-digit minute timeframes. The closer your windows get to basically zero, the methods by which you protect your business functions changes from backups, to replication, to even higher levels of availability and redundancy to basically keep the workload from ever going down. When you walk through your risk assessment necessary to develop a DR plan, you’ll quickly see what kind of windows the business needs and what IT is capable of today.
- Data’s Getting Bigger – This is a huge challenge for IT: data is exponentially growing. IoT devices, the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and the ease of access to more storage has all added to the use of more data by the average organization than ever before. And, more data means longer backups and restores, if you subscribe to legacy forms of backup. Organizations facing massive data growth need to find creative ways to address the recovery needs through things like separating the data from the application and orchestrating a means by which to still recover them all into a single, productive workload when necessary.
So, what do you do about gaps?
Each specific issue obviously has its own solutions. But, in general, the presence of gaps – I believe – is a good thing. It demonstrates that the business it evolving, and there are plenty of options around backup software, cloud resources, and service providers to solve any identified gap that exists in your DR plan.