With this new perspective, it makes no sense to put a high value on availability and a low value on disaster recovery. In the age of HTML5, companies have to start saying, “We need to be available all the time – with all the ramifications of what holistic availability means in terms of resources, time, and effort.” And then, put their money where their mouth is.
Now, this doesn’t let DR vendors off the hook. Quite frankly, DR vendors need to participate in this paradigm shift. They need to reeducate companies and help change the meaning of “availability,” moving it from the current narrow definition to a more holistic stance.
Current technology will support such a reeducation. Already, cloud computing, recovery-as-a-service (RaaS), backup technologies, business continuity planning, etc. are blurring the lines between what falls into the disaster recovery bucket vs. the availability bucket. People are beginning to wake up to the fact that recovery cannot be relegated to hurricanes and earthquakes. It encompasses any event that affects a company’s data, systems, or processes. Sounds like “availability” to me!
That being said, the current technologies can also lull companies into believing they have disaster recovery capabilities when they actually do not. For instance, the ability to “failover” is not the same thing as the ability to “recover.” A failover has to do with servers. Nothing more. No people, no processes, no communications, no event management. Disaster recovery is the ability to recover the business – with all the internal and external functionality that is driven by multiple platforms, multiple applications, multiple databases, and multiple people. DR vendors would do well to emphasize this point when talking with customers and prospects.
Until both companies and DR vendors begin to view availability from a holistic perspective that encompasses disaster recovery, DR is going to get short shrift in any budget discussion where money is tight. Then, of course, it is only a matter of time before the dangers of such myopia become crystal clear.
*The survey, conducted by SurveyMonkey Audience, reached 276 IT professionals and was completed in December 2014.
This article was originally posted on Sungard Availability Services.