If there’s a disaster at your headquarters or in your neighborhood, who, exactly, will execute your Disaster Recovery (DR) plan? Which employees will stay behind and how will they manage their responsibilities if safety is an issue or if their families need them? People come first, of course. None of this is pleasant to think about but it’s part of recovery planning.
Here’s why the location of your DR plan execution team can be as important as the plan itself:
Recovery issues faced by internal IT teams
During natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and major storms, parts of a city or even an entire city can become paralyzed. Services shut down and protecting human life becomes the top priority. Human-made disasters like fires and terrorism can have the same impact. In these situations, your IT team needs to stay safe and take care of family members just like everyone else.
If there’s no power in your facility (or in your neighborhood), your IT team doesn’t have the tools it needs to execute your DR plan. Whether the outage is caused by a downed tree or power pole, an ice storm, or even a water main break that requires power to be shut off, your DR plan needs to kick in if your network is down and your AC units aren’t cooling your servers. Even something as mundane as a hardware failure in your building can shut down your network.
Your power may be working fine but if your internet goes down, your internal IT team can have its hands tied if you don’t have redundant carriers. Whether it’s a regional carrier problem or a construction crew that accidentally cut a fiber cable, being offline can leave your IT team without options and your business on hold.
Sometimes everyone inside the building needs to evacuate — there’s a gas leak, fire, flood, sprinkler system malfunction or some other event that makes staying unsafe. Often power will need to be shut off in these situations as well. Your internal IT team won’t be able to do what’s needed to keep your IT environment running.
An organization is covered if it has a duplicate DR site in another region with an offsite staff standing by for emergencies. But if your company doesn’t have that, what are your best options?
Advantages of having an offsite team handle DR plan execution
Even if your company has enough experienced internal staff to handle the responsibilities of a successful DR plan execution, clearly they’ll face challenges during a real emergency if they can remain on the property. Recovering from a disaster is not business as usual — it’s a complicated, intense process that requires practiced expertise and cool heads.
Today, the best option for many companies is cloud-based DR or DR as a Service (DRaaS) that’s located in a different geographical region from the main site and managed by an experienced offsite team. The offsite team can step in to execute the DR plan at any time, moving IT operations to the cloud and keeping them there until normal operations can resume at the main site. There’s no need for an expensive duplicate site — the DR site is in the cloud, ready and available when needed, and customers can’t tell the difference between the main site and the cloud-based site.
This is relatively new but well-tested technology. Advancements in replication technology, network transparency, rerouting, and other processes make DRaaS a strong option for many more companies now, including enterprises. Historically, about 40% of businesses fail after a disaster but those numbers are likely to greatly improve as more businesses take advantage of offsite DR execution services.
Ransomware and relocating your offices
Having a remote DR plan execution team has advantages beyond DR. For example, while a ransomware attack won’t require your internal IT team to evacuate (hopefully), the recovery work can take a long time. With DRaaS and an offsite DR team, you can execute your DR plan to keep your business operational while your internal IT team deals with the ransomware on your system and handles other business priorities like stakeholders and deadlines.
DRaaS simplifies moving, too. Relocating IT infrastructure from one building to another can be a tedious, complex process if you don’t want downtime. A remote DR team can use the cloud swing model to gracefully bring some or all of your IT environment up to the cloud temporarily while your internal team physically moves and sets up your infrastructure at the new location.
Leapfrog is a champion of remote IT services overall. We pioneered the model in 1998 — we believe it’s a wise strategy for companies to leverage high-quality IT services run by experts so they can focus on their business goals. We believe it so strongly, we built our company around it. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients here in Atlanta and around the world managing IT infrastructures remotely and advising on how to use best new technologies. DRaaS is one of the new technologies we’re excited about because the recent advancements make it simple to implement and use, and remote offsite DR plan execution can deliver the best recovery results. If you’re interested in finding out more about DRaaS or remote IT management, please let us know.
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