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Think Outside the (Storage) Box for Your Disaster Recovery Plan

By Stacey Vanden Boogart-Romenesko

Thinking Outside the (Storage) Box for Your DR Site:

As this year comes to a close and we plan our IT budgets for 2015, many IT professionals plead their annual case to justify to their management the cost to implement an external storage solution for backup and disaster recovery. Have you had that conversation with your boss? Was it successful?

Servers and external storage arrays are a common hardware solution for backup & disaster recovery sites. Features like redundant power, fans, and hot-swappable components ensure that your mission critical data is highly available with minimal downtime. Off-site failover systems for your mission critical servers can act as a "hot spare," ready to pick up where your in-house mission critical systems leave off in the event of a failure, providing your users with uninterrupted service.

Organizations that rely on servers for mission critical day-to-day operations directly tied to revenue, such as customer-facing applications, tangibly benefit by the additional layer of redundancy found in backup and failover deployments of entire systems in an offsite location. Even though our servers are often the lifeline to business revenue, many companies forfeit this protection due to lack of budget or staff resources. If you’re facing similar challenges getting a disaster recovery plan in place, maybe it’s time to start thinking outside the storage box in your budget plan.

Disaster Recovery & Virtualization Make a Perfect Pair

The IT budget of many SMB’s may not allow for the expense associated with deploying an entire duplicate off-site mission critical infrastructure. However, many businesses are finding server virtualization platforms offer a viable and cost effective solution to building a highly available and redundant environment, without leaving precious budgetary spending on the table (or the data center) in underutilized hardware. It may seem counter-intuitive that housing numerous server roles in a single system is a practical solution to improve data recovery practices. However, virtualization software platforms capitalize on recent improvements in system performance and scalability to provide a uniform and often automated failover for critical operations. In the event of a critical server or operating system failure or outage, high availability virtualization software platforms enable a separate host server at your alternative location to restart that virtual machine quickly and effortlessly.

Save your Sanity, and your Job, with Virtual Backup Solutions

Virtual backup solutions like Veeam Backup & Replication offer features to test and verify backup recovery practices and troubleshoot application deployments, directly from your backup and replications in an isolated environment. Such features ensure there are no hiccups in the recovery process in the event of a disaster, and help to mitigate the risks of data loss or breaks in production caused by new deployments.

Manage DR Costs through Vendor Supported Services

While virtual solutions are becoming an increasingly popular approach to streamline disaster recovery, some SMB’s may not have the data needs, internal infrastructure, or staff implement and maintain such an environment. Many SMB’s look to the technical expertise in vendor supported recovery strategies or managed services providers to design, implement , manage and host disaster recovery sites. Such companies offer tiered options such as virtual private servers or dedicated hosted servers to keep costs manageable for SMB budgets.

If you've put off your disaster recovery implementation for yet another budgetary year, make 2015 the year you protect your critical business data and revenue by considering alternatives to traditional external storage solutions. Considering enlisting an external IT expert your virtualization or disaster recovery implementation so you can focus on driving your business forward? Please consider our Virtualization Solutions services and our Enterprise Solutions Disaster Recovery Services. As a VMware Professional Solutions Provider and Veeam Silver ProPartner, Aventis Systems offers hardware, software, and services to plan and implement your virtual backup and recovery solution.

For disaster recovery planning advice, watch our short webinar, "5 Vital DR Planning Tips for SMBs" or browse the slides below.