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The Disaster Recovery Assurance Paradigm Shift

The cloud has shifted the frequency with which we need to test our systems' capabilities to come back from disaster, from months to right now and often.

When Gartner Group recently reported that each disaster recovery test a company performs costs $30,000 to $40,000, there is a big problem -- it's a huge waste of money!

Disaster recovery assurance represents a paradigm shift for cloud operations and management. It unlocks huge value to companies regardless of size. 

Paradigm shifts occur when an invention changes the behavior of people permanently. For instance, the automatic transmission in cars made them easy for everyone to use and led to two-car families, suburbs, two-salary households, and so on.

We see three major parts to this paradigm shift:

First, with today's tools, disaster recovery plans are tested once or twice per year. Maybe. It's hard to do. It's so hard in fact that tests need to be planned and prepared well in advance, usually two or three months in advance.

DR assurance is about testing every few hours. Let's stop to think about this. From twice per year to several thousand times per year is three orders of magnitude -- that's a paradigm shift. Once people adopt DR assurance, going back to testing twice per year will be unthinkable in the same way going back to cars without automatic transmissions is unthinkable.

Second, DR assurance unleashes huge value. DR tests are not only very disruptive but also very expensive because customers have to rent data center space, bring in consultants and so on. It's easily $30k per test for a small company, multiply that by ten for a large company. We have customers that need between 1500 and 4000 man-days per year to conduct the DR tests they need. This is why, for a Fortune 500 company, DR testing can easily cost several million dollars per exercise.

And what's worse is that within hours of a DR test, the results become obsolete. Clouds reconfigure virtualized resources all the time; CPUs, cores, servers, memory, all of the storage, and increasingly the networks -they are constantly reconfigured and reallocated. That's what clouds do.  

And that is why testing frequently is the only way to make sure that recovery procedures are current, and to ensure compliance with business continuity requirements. Now imagine the value of driving the cost of testing down from tens of thousands of dollars to a few dollars per DR test -- several orders of magnitude less.

With this all of this potential savings and new recovery testing and procedures to think about, how can you make sure to choose the right partner to utilize and guide you through the shift? Choose a disaster recovery assurance provider that has all the core technologies (backup, archive and replication) that also hooks into the cloud and automates recovery testing with recovery time objectives and recovery time actuals.

Disaster recovery assurance is going to change the way people protect their IT. They'll need to assuring that corporate business processes are recoverable at all times with 100 percent confidence and for a fraction of the cost today.

About the Author

Steve Kahan is PHD Virtual's chief marketing officer. Prior to PHD Virtual, Steve was senior vice president of global marketing for Quest Software, and vice president of marketing at The Planet, Bindview, Postini, PentaSafe and was president and CEO of eSecurity. Steve holds a B.S. in Communications from Illinois State University.

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