Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery Objectives
Assessing DR Priorities
To fully understand the level to which we should be protecting our IT against disasters, we need to cover two concepts and how they relate to your specific diverse business processes. For example your website may represent your sales or marketing presence, the email system enables communication between our teams and customers, the file server is the repository of business critical documens, the SQL server contains your business intelligence – the list goes on. Each of these different IT systems ties in to the business process and hence we can attach a value to each. This value determines the acceptability of loss of the service and from this, it is possible to calculate a cost per unit of time that this service or business process is unavailable. Equally, value must be used to calculate the amount of acceptable irrecoverable data loss. The difficult thing is to assign values to these and it is often the case that these issues are addressed in reverse; companies wanting a Disaster Recovery solution without truly knowing the impact (cost) of the loss of their services / systems / business processes. When this occurs, it is important to bear in mind that the best Disaster Recovery solution will have minimum data loss and also have you back up and running in very little time (if you are offline at all). Please see the chart for an idication of the relationship between data security and cost.
To help us understand this better, the two key concepts that underpin the cost model for Disaster Recovery are..
Achieving Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)
The ability to achieve a given recovery time object is depends on how rapidly the system can be recovered from backup. The main factor at work here is the speed at which data on backup media can be restored onto a system.
Achieving Recovery Point Objectives (RPO)
The ability to achieve a given recovery point objective, or RPO depends on how frequently backups are performed. RPO is the maximum acceptable period of time that data loss will occur if the data is lost for any reason.
There are many varied methods for implementing Disaster Recovery solutions for businesses.. Basics such as dual power supplies or resilient disks in servers will help reduce the risk of hardware failure. More advanced solutions will involve combinations of local backup appliances and cloud configurations, virtualization and clustering to provide better and better RPO/RTO combinations. The key is not to forget about the potential for disaster and the potential effect on your business – but also to assess risk, prioritize resources and to build as recoverable a solution as a given budget will allow.
Youur IT budget and the value of your data will be the primary influences on the choice of RPO and RTO points for your business.
The Computer Systems Support & Design team assists Fairfield County CT businesses with determining the best Disaster Recovery solutions.