The disaster recovery/business continuity industry has changed dramatically in the last few years as a number of converging factors compel companies to re-evaluate their current programs.
Global commerce, e-business, multi-site shared processing, cloud computing, new storage architectures and specialized distributed operations are all raising the performance bar for today’s recovery programs as they generate new requirements for much higher levels of availability, recoverability and continuous operations. Fortunately, proven technologies are now available that can respond to these demands for true 24x7x365 continuous availability.
Most companies now realize that achieving an acceptable return on investment for their continuity dollars means finding and implementing different approaches than those used in historical disaster recovery programs. These new approaches must support one critical objective—integrating systems availability, disaster recovery and business resumption initiatives into a seamless total continuity program that protects business operations and ensures service levels on a daily basis, not just in the event of an IT or site “disaster”.
But achieving this kind of optimal, highly leveraged total business continuity is easier said than done—it requires a careful application of the right strategies and the right technologies across the entire spectrum of production and recovery requirements. To date, this has been problematic and failure to address and integrate these elements in a unified manner has produced the kind of commercial results often observed, namely:
disaster recovery programs that address only “disaster” events, providing little mitigation of daily production exposures or,
point-product and technology implementations that may adequately address a specific platform or application availability issue, but do not provide continuity and durability for the business as a whole
WTG’s Multipurpose Architecture Design services are targeted for businesses that want to leverage their spending to gain benefits on all sides of the production/recovery equation with solutions that concurrently offer production availability, disaster resilience and disaster recoverability. Multipurpose architectures are particularly well-suited for businesses that:
- utilize “open systems” to support critical business processes
- already have some redundant hardware used for testing, production fail-over or additional capacity
- have multiple office environments in a given geography
- have broadband communications between regional sites
- are planning major hardware and/or software upgrades in the near future
- are introducing new applications such as ERP or e-commerce that require higher-than-normal availability
- have had a traditional disaster recovery program in place without significant redesign for over 36 months
CIOs, CTOs, IT Managers, and Senior Management who are responsible for ensuring that IT investments support business requirements in the most cost-effective manner.
Experience has taught us that the only way to increase total availability without incurring excessive costs is with symmetrical architectures that are explicitly designed to concurrently meet both production availability and disaster recovery requirements. WTG’s advanced multipurpose architectures uniquely extend and leverage our clients’ existing infrastructures and augment their current disaster recovery capabilities to produce a true continuous operating environment.
Our specialists will first define your optimal availability requirements—both production and disaster recovery—based on the actual needs of your business. Then, we will review your current hardware, software, communications and facility infrastructure to understand your current capacities, existing redundancies and installed technologies. Next, we will discuss your upcoming initiatives so that we have a complete understanding of planned upgrades, new systems, changing requirements and other business drivers. With this information in hand, WTG’s specialists design several high-level architectures that offer the appropriate level of “high recoverability”, “high availability” or “continuous availability” based on your unique business requirements. Then, relevant technologies (including: job scheduling; automated data backup and restoration; mirroring, replication and de-duplication; NAS and SAN booting; virtualization; cloud computing; remote device management; application high availability and continuous availability; unified communication; etc.) are evaluated to determine if they can augment, extend or enhance the inherent availability and recoverability of the initial designs. Finally, the most effective designs are defined in sufficient detail to develop a cost-benefit analysis suitable for presentation to management.
The result is a system architecture that fully leverages your current resources; provides a reliable, proportionate solution for your production availability requirements; and is inherently disaster resistant—often for the same or less cost than traditional availability or recovery-only designs!
- Definition of optimal availability performance requirements by platform based on business needs
- 2 – 3 high-level architectures that meet availability and recoverability requirements and which leverage existing infrastructure and resources
- Recommendations for applicable new technologies to enhance existing availability and recoverability capabilities
- Descriptive documentation of all recommended technologies not currently utilized
- Budget-level estimates of all implementation costs
- Cost-benefit presentation of final recommendation to senior management
- Increased leverage and utilization of existing resources
- Reduced third-party disaster recovery costs
- Improved production availability and reliability
- Increased resistance to disaster events
- Technology upgrade—often for little or no additional cost
- Greatly simplified disaster recovery planning
- Daily Return on Investment—not just in the event of a “disaster”