IT departments today have a dual challenge: delivering high availability for increasingly complex hybrid IT environments to make sure they never go down, and ensuring appropriate disaster recovery plans just in case they do go down. With solid planning and preparation, your disaster recovery plan can minimize any event or outage and keep your business online and on target. Here are three critical components to ensuring swift, effective recovery for your business.

Tiering Applications

With the demands placed on business today, speed is essential for recovery. Crucial applications have to be recovered fast enough to meet business requirements. Therefore, when reviewing your applications, their criticality to the business should determine how they are tiered for recovery purposes. For example, which applications require near-zero recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs)? Which can appropriately be recovered in under four hours? Over four hours?

The importance of tiering applications cannot be underestimated, as the tiers that applications fall into have ramifications throughout your IT environment. For instance, for non-critical applications, disk-based backup is likely sufficient, lowering overall costs. For mission-critical applications, replicated snapshots are one of the top options.

Coordinating Change

Your IT environment can have thousands and even tens of thousands of changes each year. New applications are developed. Workloads are moved to the cloud. Network topologies are simplified. LAN speeds are upgraded. Operating systems are patched. New security protocols are implemented.

Any of these changes in your production environment can impact your recovery environment and your recovery plans, potentially undercutting your ability to meet your RTOs and RPOs. Rigorous change management is critical to ensure that you have a process in place to keep your production environment and your recovery environment in sync with one another.

Assessing Infrastructure

Overall business resiliency is a complicated matter. For example, you must ensure that the resiliency of your applications is supported by the resiliency of your infrastructure. A resilient infrastructure is characterized by:

  • Dynamic policy-based provisioning, security, and management in a virtualized environment
  • Service profiles and policy-based management that enable fast provisioning with less effort, improved compliance, and reduced risk of failure due to inconsistent configurations
  • Support for standards and open APIs to allow integration with existing data center technologies and best-of-breed storage, virtualization, and management solutions

Recoverability, like availability, requires constant vigilance and effort to maintain. But the reward is worth it. You will have complete confidence, knowing that your business has the resiliency necessary to take anything in stride and keep moving forward.

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