Tag Archives: Business Continuity

3 reasons why your business should adopt DRaaS

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions make essential safeguarding of applications and data both more accessible and effective for small and large businesses alike.

Whether it be a natural disaster, human error, cyber-attack or hardware failure, an interruption to IT services can be catastrophic for businesses. To deal with the challenges associated with storing and potentially recovering large volumes of mission-critical data, organisations have a compelling option in DRaaS.

DRaaS is a cloud-based solution that provides near instant replication of your servers. In the case of downtime, whether scheduled or unscheduled, DRaaS enables you to failover to a copy of your infrastructure and failback to your original infrastructure when it’s ready, maintaining business continuity.

Whilst high-budget enterprises have typically had Disaster Recovery (DR) infrastructures in place for some time, the emergence of DRaaS yields several advantages that make the same capabilities possible for all businesses.

1. Disaster Recovery as a Service Reduces Costs

It’s simply not viable for many businesses to purchase, configure and manage a secondary site to failover to in case of disruption. It requires a huge upfront expenditure on hardware, plus unpredictable data centre operating costs.

DRaaS solutions are much more affordable. There are no upfront costs, but simply a monthly, manageable bill for leasing resources. Ongoing costs, such as those for electricity usage and maintenance, are the responsibility of the vendor.

You also only pay for what you use – a benefit that typifies the cloud – and there’s no need for overprovisioning, as would be required with a traditional DR infrastructure.

2. DRaaS Provides Access to Enterprise-Grade Protection

New technologies are revolutionising DR, and the speed and efficiency that can be achieved in data protection. For instance, advancements in virtualisation software have made Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) of just minutes and seconds affordable.

For organisations that choose to operate their own DR infrastructures, adopting new, advanced DR software poses both logistical and financial challenges.

Leading DRaaS solutions will include the latest software as standard, enabling the same simplified data replication, rapid RTOs and RPOs and comprehensive data protection that enterprises have access to.

3. DRaaS Refocuses Your Business Strategy

DR can be a burden that bogs down your IT department. It can involve extensively managing a secondary site, performing regular, intricate failover tests and reviewing recovery capabilities to meet compliance requirements. This distracts IT from core strategy and responsibilities that develop your business.

More than the sum of its parts

DRaaS solutions provide access to new technologies, technologies that can automatically test and invoke your DR infrastructure, enabling your internal team to focus and prioritise tasks that are central to your long-term business strategy. As data security becomes an increasingly important responsibility for organisations of all sizes, DRaaS offers affordable, yet complete protection.

A DRaaS solution, as an alternative to configuring and managing your own DR infrastructure, is a formidable option for any business looking to exploit the efficiencies and innovation of the cloud.

To find out more about DRaaS from BTL click here or download our data sheet


Why Do Businesses Fail to Adopt Disaster Recovery as a Service?

With a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution, small and large businesses alike can access comprehensive protection against downtime of mission-critical applications, which was previously only achievable for enterprises with significant IT budgets.

However, many organisations still overlook DRaaS solutions based on perceptions that are not necessarily accurate.

In this blog post we look at four common reasons why businesses opt against investing in DRaaS solutions.

 ‘We can’t afford Disaster Recovery’

Full Disaster Recovery (DR) is traditionally seen as a luxury reserved for big-budget enterprises. After all, configuring a secondary site for rapid failover involves considerable hardware and data centre investment.

By outsourcing your DR to a vendor with a cloud-based DRaaS solution, you eliminate these upfront investments and the need to overprovision. Advancements in cloud-based technologies enable DRaaS customers to run virtual infrastructures on any hardware, so there’s no need to maintain and replace specific hardware.

This makes comprehensive DR for all of your applications achievable with a limited budget.

‘We can’t afford rapid RPOs and RTOs’

Traditionally you needed deep pockets to achieve business continuity with DR solutions. Rapid Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) – i.e. the maximum period where data may be lost and the target time for the resumption of services – required extremely frequent snapshot replication of your applications and an always-on hot site with the required supporting infrastructure.

DRaaS vendors have adopted emerging, cost-effective virtualisation technologies that minimise RPOs and RTOs to just seconds and minutes. For instance, new DR software uses asynchronous replication at the hypervisor level, resulting in quicker, cheaper and more flexible failover.

Furthermore, DRaaS enables you to rely on the infrastructure of a vendor to gain rapid restore times. This will typically consist of a high-speed, fibre network connecting its data centres and stringent SLAs.

‘We don’t have the resources to manage Disaster Recovery’

Some organisations have a dedicated team to manage DR, but obviously this is out of the question for many.

A major advantage of DRaaS is that it outsources the replication, failover and failback processes, so you don’t need specialist resources and expertise. Some vendors have automated one-click systems to easily test and invoke an entire DR infrastructure, and then failback to the original infrastructure. This makes business continuity achievable with minimal human intervention.

 ‘We do not prioritise Disaster Recovery’

Planning for something that has not happened before or is seen as highly unlikely may prevent you from prioritising DR above other business processes and activities. However, the potential damage that downtime can cause to your businesses finances and reputation is so great that DR must be a top priority.

This is reflected by research that found that 70% of organisations that suffer from a severe IT disaster go out of business within a year.

By utilising a DRaaS solution, you can fully safeguard your organisation from lengthy data loss and lost revenue from downtime, without taking your IT department’s focus and budget away from other responsibilities.

It’s vital to examine your DR plan and processes, and consider the range of options that are available to your business. DRaaS is an attractive, yet often misunderstood option that offers exceptional efficiency and reliability in preventing costly downtime.

ClouDRaaS from BTL offers reliable and rapid response Disaster Recovery in the cloud.

To find out more click here or download our data sheet.





Reduce Operational Costs by Modernising your Data Centre

An increase in energy cost, outdated data centre infrastructure, and lack of responsiveness to current business requirements are some of the reasons that contribute to the decision to modernise a data centre. Administrators of data centre evaluate long-established approaches and come to a decision on how to restructure, update and organise data centres to meet business requirements. Moreover, data centre modernisation help in providing high-tech services to clients for business continuity, data recovery, regulatory compliance and disaster recovery. Data centre administrators need to pay attention on various ways of overcoming operating costs to gain competitive position in the market.

Plans and strategies are the backbone of data centre modernisation. Process starts with an appraisal of existing IT realities and updated vision of the future. Efforts are made in the direction of standardising, consolidating, automating, virtualising infrastructure, migrating, supporting tools and architectural frameworks. Deep associations among business units, application development, and IT infrastructure operations will help in finding in-house problems and solutions to pressing issues.

Data centre need to plan a way out by finding where investments are achievable in the network infrastructure, storage and server area. In addition, modified service levels are conveyed to accomplish performance metrics that are associated with transformational activities and intermittent reassessment to form business strategy.

It is the job of data centre admin to choose and put into practise most up-to-date technologies. Returns on Investments (ROI) are determined by the optimisation level of server. Modernised data centres are need to do their best to improve protocols for policy management, operational reliability and competitive position in market. Data centre are interested to increase their savings by working on reducing system downtime, and human errors. They also need to work on improving success rates for patch rollouts and applications.

For contemporary data centres, agility is the hallmark, as these are designed for long-term growth. Provision of latest servers and immediate response to change requests are features of the modern data centre. They are capable to accomplish resources immediately through designing flexible and effective computing model.

In data centres, power is considered one of the significant factors in increasing operational costs. Thermal assessment determines the temperature in various areas to find out hot and over cooled areas. In order to keep the temperature in balancing positions, optimal equipment and raised floor approach is used.

Data centres need to operate and develop by checking energy efficiency. Reliable data centres give guarantee that they are following green computing while reducing carbon footprints. It is possible for data centres to decrease energy use, Carbon Dioxide emission by combining storage units, processors, and storage sites, data centres can save maximum energy and operational cost. To reduce cooling cost, arctic locations are much favourable where the environment is much cooler and will be easier on the cooling fans and help with maintaining an optimal temperature.

Facts Behind Re-Purposing Outdated Hardware

Hardware failure is not a day to day issue for most of users. If, however, hardware failure happens on constant basis, you must need to think about it seriously. Due to hardware failure, important files and folders can be lost. Survey about hardware failure is conducted to discover ratio in IT departments.

In past, almost 99% of IT experts faced troubles due to hardware failure;
At time of data loss, above 70% IT professionals have given their services to clients;
80% are of the view that hard drive is the basic reason of hardware failure.

Hardware failure affects business continuity. Many companies are using old hardware, and this could cause hardware failure. It is concerning why computer users have old hardware. When a piece of equipment completes its life span without getting out of order, why it is used until it stops working completely? How long, do you expect a hardware to continue to work? How do you use old equipment?

IT professionals state that re-purposing of hardware gives a number of benefits to users. However, at the same time, there are some drawbacks associated with re-purposing. If you have made up your mind for re-purposing hardware, consider these facts:

Time Span for Hardware
IT professionals agree that it is good to re-purpose a machine that is used for few years. However, parts such as thermal paste, battery, RAM and fans should be swapped. Five years old hardware is good for home use, such as media server. Conversely, it will create troubles if much older machine is re-purposed for production. IT experts recommend that old hardware should not be used as production machines.

What is the Purpose?
Most of users select old hardware either for testing or storage purposes. As far as storage is concerned, you can perform a few things with old hardware. It can be used for backups, as well as for shared storage. Whatever is your target, it is good to keep copy of backup data to use in critical situations. On the other hand, old equipment is good to use for testing purpose in laboratories like virtualization, training or any other purpose. If hardware is old, it does not mean it is useless.

Consideration before Re-purposing Hardware
Everyone wants to get benefits from hardware as long as it is in working condition. Nobody wants to throw away hardware equipment just for the reason it has covered its expected life span. As compared to other equipment, computer hardware are highly superseded; therefore, users do not need to get in trouble for re-purposing, repairing or refurbishing. IT professionals note that repair and ownership cost may result in waste of time and effort.

Recycling is another form of re-purposing hardware. Visit local electronics that accept old computer hardware or you can also try to design some thing new using the old hardware. You can find interesting projects online for old computer components.*

* – http://www.zdnet.com/pictures/upcycled-tech-24-new-uses-for-your-old-hardware/

What is Distributed Denial of Service Attack?

DoS & Its Types
Denial of Service (DoS) occurs whenever a website stops to offer services. Denial of services is the result of some attack or presence of too many online visitors on a specific site.

There are many kinds of attacks that disable a system. In some cases, peer-to-peer software is used to corrupt the firmware. Among all types of attacks, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is most common. DDoS brings a lot of traffic to a website that is impossible to handle. Networked computers are used by hackers to bring a flood of traffic to disturb business continuity. As website is designed to handle a limited number of customers’ requests at a time, it crashes when flooded with too much traffic.

DDoS Attacks Frequency
DDoS attacks occur on frequent basis. According to Wikipedia, DDos occurs on an average of 28 times per hour. What is more ironical is an increase in the number of attacks on regular basis.

Who are DDoS Attackers?
There are many reasons that compel hackers to use distributed denial of service attack. One cannot pin down exact reasons and who the attackers are. It is believed that DDoS attacks are used by competitors against a business as deceitful tactic.

Objectives behind DDoS Attacks
Attackers use DDoS attacks to get ransom money. Companies are warned to pay an amount, otherwise their system will crash. Once company pays the given amount, it becomes the target of hackers for long term. On the other hand, companies that refuse to pay the ransom suffer due to hindrances in business continuity and downtime, which means to shell out for system recovery and their business reputation.

Sometimes, DDoS attacks are the result of a protest. When hacker groups have conflict with the actions of certain groups, they attack their websites to show reaction. There are many hackers that just use these attacks for the sake of pleasure or to cause trouble for others.

Companies Affected by DDoS Attacks
Steam, Sony Playstation Network, and Xbox Live Network of Microsoft are some of the significant companies that are affected due to DDoS attacks. Side by side large scale companies, small companies are harassed by these attacks because they do not have preventive measures to mitigate the effects.

Unintentional DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks can be accidental. It may happen that a lot of visitors have found something interesting on a website (video, picture or article) and visit the site at the same time. Website might not be ready to handle an increase in number of visitors, therefore, the system stops to give service any more.

DDoS Attacks are Expensive
Nuestar reported* that DDoS attacks cost more than $100K in an hour for almost 29% businesses. Due to these attacks, customer support centre was affected more than any other department.

In a nutshell, businesses must have an influential plan for DDoS and business continuity. Best practices should be used to reduce the number of DDoS attacks. As a result, the affects of downtime on clients and business can be controlled.

* https://goo.gl/kkwKzT

Standardization: All-inclusive Backup Solution for Disaster Recovery

It is the basic need of all businesses to have verified and reliable backup plan. When each and every minute of downtime affects on business continuity and brings closer to disruption, it makes clear that company needs more than a simple backup plan for data protection.

Some companies purchase a variety of software from various sellers to design backup system. One product is used for virtual machines, others for servers and databases. When an organization has various backup applications, it requires multiple systems with specific features to handle backup plans. With the passage of time, lack of consistency makes it complicated to find out how processes, applications and mission-critical data are reported across the organization. Unnoticed incompatibilities in such vendor systems make backup attempts unsuccessful when disaster strikes. Standardization is the only solution to nip these problems in the bud.

Role of Standardization
Standardization is considered as all in one reliable solution for disaster recovery. Instead of keeping a number of individual applications, use software integrated tool that has the capability to consolidate your requirements for data protection in one platform. IT system providers offer fully compact solution by combining infrastructure, software and hardware to optimize disaster recovery operations and backups in an integrated way. There are many persuasive benefits of standardization approach:

Quick Recovery Process: For business continuity, standardized backup as well as recovery processes are selected. Consistent structure of backup and recovery extends across the data centre and assist in eliminating upcoming roadblocks throughout recovery procedures. Disastrous components (in the form of servers or software) are swapped out through their replacements.

Incorporated Power: Though standardization is perfect for simplification and centralization, it gives reliable outcome for data protection as well. Administrators are always in search of tools that can help them handle significant disaster recovery components. As they are fully equipped with standardized solutions, administrators are able to systematize virtual backups, make schedule of incremental backups, and design policies for data protection. Backups are designed to eliminate data loss and to make recovery of data certain.

Central Control: An IT admin may handle up to three backup systems having various options, controls, interfaces and settings. In centralized system, everything is present at one platform. Therefore, IT administrators can save time and work effectively to manage recovery options and backup to operate databases, virtual environment, and operating systems through a single tool.

Within Budget Approach: Disaster recovery approach seems more engaging when it is offered at reasonable rates. MSPs offer considerable upfront investments by leveraging the “pay-as-you-go” cloud cost model. Additional savings can be obtained through discount pricing to provide companies suitable deals so that they can support more devices.

When IT providers are able to regulate disaster recovery effectively, they will be prepared to get additional market shares in newer trends, such as virtualization, cloud computing, and data breaches.

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