What to do if nothing works? While many companies are still busy securing their IT infrastructure, they are often completely unprepared in a digital emergency. How can companies arm themselves against failures of their IT systems? And what advantages does a disaster recovery solution from the cloud offer SMEs?
Hardly any process in modern companies is conceivable today without IT support. Even minor failures, such as a mail server, paralyze entire departments: in that case, customer inquiries go nowhere or can only be processed with great delay. Subsequent processes are not triggered, deadlines pass. The more time passes before the problem is found and corrected or an alternative system replaces the failed server, the greater the economic damage for the company concerned – and the imminent loss of image.
Cybercriminals do not sleep
The technical possibilities are also increasing the threat of cyberattacks. Even criminals have discovered the benefits of Software as a Service (SaaS). The new business model in the Darknet: With a few clicks everyone can put together a custom Trojan.
Programming skills are not necessary – and the provider of “Ransomware as a Service” (RaaS) earned the damage caused by his malware. So you no longer have to be a seasoned hacker to paralyze entire IT infrastructures in companies and thereby blackmail money. It is to be feared that the number of cybercriminal attacks will continue to rise in this context.
Step-child disaster recovery strategy
With regard to disaster recovery, there is often a lot of catching up to do, particularly in the SME sector. For one thing, capacities are scarce. IT departments are often so busy identifying and sealing system weaknesses that they forget to consider the real thing, let alone devise an emergency plan for it.
On the other hand, effective disaster recovery requires a lot of experience and costs money, because a high level of data security requires additional backup servers. To ensure uninterrupted business operations, even in the event of fires, earthquakes, or floods, replicated data should be stored and managed in a distributed location. A high effort.
In addition, at first glance Disaster Recovery makes no direct contribution to value creation. Thus, the topic is often neglected in view of already strained IT budgets.
Disaster Recovery: System backup and disaster recovery as planned
In order to master the balancing act – maximum data security with overseeable and calculable costs – disaster recovery as a service, DRaaS for short, is particularly suitable for medium-sized companies with several hundred users. They can use professional building blocks from the cloud to put together their own individual system for system backup and disaster recovery. Costs are only incurred for the services and resources actually used (pay-per-use).
For example, Microsoft Azure’s “Site Recovery” cloud service allows you to define custom policies and plans that replicate and host physical and virtual environments in a cloud data center. This enables companies to automatically secure their Hyper-V, VMware, and physical servers – the ongoing transfer of data and applications coordinates and manages site recovery. This ensures application consistency and quickly restores all services, even with complex, multi-layered workloads.
If the production system fails or the site fails, the replicated instance is accessed – so fast that customers and employees will not notice it at best. The details of the service recovery are determined by the company-specific IT disaster recovery plan.
This can be easily and conveniently created and saved in the Microsoft Azure Portal. It is based on individual business requirements and can, therefore, be very simple or extensive. Custom Windows PowerShell scripts and Azure Automation runbooks can be integrated as well as breaks for manual intervention.
Especially convenient: The disaster recovery plan template can be tested at any time without interrupting services at the primary site. In addition, Site Recovery continuously and remotely monitors the status of protected instances. All communication with Azure is encrypted.
The advantages of disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) at a glance
- Maximum data security with predictable and calculable costs – especially interesting for medium-sized companies
- Extensive options for creating an individual strategy – both for system backup and disaster recovery
- Costs for services and resources only for actual use (pay-per-use)
- Demand-driven scaling of required resources through flexible and open cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure