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December 17, 2019 | Dale Levesque

2020 Disaster Recovery Trends & Guidance

An overview of 2020 Disaster Recovery Trends

Here are some of the disaster recovery, backup, and DRaaS trends coming in 2020. As you might expect, cloud-based disaster recovery will continue to grow in popularity, but one of the intriguing side points is the growth in situation-specific disaster recovery solutions. We’re seeing an increase in the number of businesses implementing cloud-based DRaaS solutions specifically for migration purposes.

I also see the line between DRaaS and backup technologies blurring, with more advanced solution providers taking a more comprehensive approach to disaster recovery by combining all elements into one easy-to-manage solution.

As interesting as these trends are, business leaders should take a pragmatic approach to their disaster recovery and business continuity solutions by routinely evaluating their strategy and the solutions available that can best help them meet their objectives.

6 Questions to Ask When Reviewing Your Disaster Recovery Plans

While Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning can be done any time of year, you need to plan in order to take advantage of those 2020 disaster recovery trends. Here are six questions to consider as you review your strategy:

1. Are your RTOs and RPOs set appropriately for each workload?

Different workloads have different recovery demands. For example, every minute your customer-facing website is down (especially this time of year) could cost you thousands. However, other systems might be able to withstand a couple of hours of downtime before the business suffers significant loss.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – The point in the past from which you want data recovered. For example, an RPO of 15 minutes would mean the business can only afford to lose 15 minutes’ worth of data.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – The amount of downtime acceptable between a disruptive event and a return to operational status.

Setting RTOs and RPOs appropriately for each workload can save you money in the event of a disaster. However, since solutions that offer less downtime and lower data loss tend to be more costly, it can also save you money if you don’t overestimate a workload’s recovery needs.

For more on setting RTOs and RPOs by workload, refer to The Strategic Guide to Disaster Recovery and DRaaS.

2. Can your DR solutions meet your recovery objectives?

Now that you’ve set appropriate RTOs and RPOs for your various workloads, it’s time to ask yourself (or your DR provider) whether the solutions implemented can meet these objectives.

For example, let’s say you have a workload that can lose as much as a day’s worth of data. You back this system up every night using physical media, e.g., tape, and then store the media offsite. All is well, right? Maybe, maybe not. The twenty-four-hour objective assumes your team is actually performing the backups nightly. If that’s not happening, your disaster recovery looks good on paper, but not quite as good in practice.

3. Are any of your solutions obsolete?

Physical failover sites, in which a mirror image of the primary production site is created in another data center, were once common. This method was costly, but in the early days of cloud computing, it was the most reliable and secure, and the only solution suitable for many legacy applications. Since then, cloud computing vendors have made significant advances in their offerings, and even the public cloud can be a viable alternative for many workloads.

4. Have the solutions been tested?

This is where a lot of disaster recovery plans break down. Using our tape backup scenario again, many organizations will use the same media year after year, even though tape degrades with age. But, it isn’t just physical-media solutions that need to be tested. For example, if you’re using a cloud-based failover site for disaster recovery, that too should be tested regularly to ensure it works as expected.

5. Are you compromising security and compliance?

Remember that your failover site(s) need to meet the same security and compliance requirements as your main production site. If you’re using one type of primary site (e.g., an on-premises private cloud) and a different type of failover site (e.g., cloud-based resources on AWS), this can be a little more challenging. It’s not that AWS can’t be compliant and secure, but it does require a different skill set to configure and maintain.

Data in motion also has to be kept secure, whether it’s a physical tape drive sitting in the passenger seat of your IT manager’s car or a packet of data traveling over the internet or a direct connection between data centers.

6. Should you outsource any of this?

If the preceding five questions have helped you identify some holes in your disaster recovery strategy, it may be time to consider a DRaaS provider. This option is becoming increasingly popular, and analysts estimate spending on these services will grow as much as 36% CAGR between 2018 and 2022.

Experts can help you with your 2020 disaster recovery plan

Need help revamping your disaster recovery plan? Reach out to us. We’d be happy to review your objectives and strategy to help you identify gaps and to offer recommendations for improvement.

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