07-30-18 | Blog Post

What is High Resiliency Disaster Recovery?

Blog Posts

When we talk about disaster recovery, everyone says they want high resiliency. It’s definitely a trendy buzzword. But what does that mean exactly? What is high resilience?

Well, the simplest definition would be “it never goes down.” But there’s a lot more to it than that, and as we’ll explore in this post, you may discover that high resiliency doesn’t necessarily mean “it never goes down” (although that would be nice.)

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resilience means:

a : capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture

b : tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

How is that applied here? In this case, we can apply resiliency to your overall IT  infrastructure, and use DR as part of that resiliency. Your production site should be able to withstand attacks without breaking, but if it does, then your recovery infrastructure is what will help you quickly recover from and adjust easily to the sudden change.

This means not only having short RPOs and RTOs (4 hours or less for most businesses), but having the right processes in place for your environment to combat a disaster. Let’s face it, at some point, something is going to break. A sprinkler may erroneously go off, shorting out your equipment, or (much more likely), an employee enters the incorrect input command into a server, causing entire systems to crash just like Amazon’s. Or, your key engineer may be on vacation during a cyber attack and unable to get to the data center to help heal affected systems. The point is, there are a zillion different scenarios that could cause catastrophic damage if the business is not able to easily adapt or withstand misfortune.

High resiliency DR aims to address as many of these concerns as possible. Of course, not every single “what if” scenario can possibly be addressed, but the more you take into account with your plan, the more resilient your infrastructure will be. You may also find that you need to take into account highavailability infrastructure that will help you recover quickly during a disaster. Is there a difference between high availability and high resiliency? The terms are often used interchangeably, but in this case, we are using high availability (redundancies built to eliminate any single point of failure) to achieve high resiliency DR (and overall IT).

Actually building a highly resilient DR infrastructure is easier said than done. But thanks to the cloud and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), it’s much easier to buy and actually use than the olden days of cold restores from tape.

Today, the biggest challenges organizations find themselves saddled with in the DR space are less around buying the technology and more around properly utilizing it to fit their specific RPO and RTO requirements. Other challenges include determining which applications and systems are mission-critical versus “nice to have.” Running a risk assessment can take weeks or more, and ensuring that the proper policies, procedures and employee training are in place before a disaster strikes can be a daunting task for organizations of all sizes. It’s all of these factors, plus the ability to execute on your plan during a disaster, that make up highly resilient disaster recovery.

Want to achieve high resiliency DR for your organization?  Check out our free Disaster Recovery webinar, How to Plan, Design and Build a Highly Resilient DR Solution! We’ll be live at 2 pm August 14. Register today to save your space!

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