The term “disaster recovery” refers to the preparations and practices that enable businesses to quickly recover from an unforeseen catastrophic event, insulating themselves from the negative effects and repercussions. Disasters may have a wide range of causes, including:
In recent years, disaster recovery has received a growing amount of attention due to many high-profile outages—in particular, the rise of devastating cyber attacks and data breaches that expose confidential and mission-critical data to malicious actors and unauthorized third parties.
Disaster recovery is closely related to, yet distinct from, the objective of business continuity, which seeks to keep your organization up and running during and after a disaster. By recovering from disasters more quickly, you can minimize the disruption to your business, ensuring that employees can still fulfill their functions and customers can still obtain your products and services.
According to a 2018 survey, 95 percent of organizations have some form of disaster recovery plan, including 90 percent that have plans for data integrity and backups. However, it’s likely that a significant portion of these plans are destined to fail when a real disaster strikes: 23 percent of organizations have never tested their disaster recovery plan, and just 34 percent test their plan at least once per quarter.
These statistics are even more shocking when you consider the potentially catastrophic effects of a disaster on your business. According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors after suffering a disaster.
Even a relatively minor IT disaster can have a major impact on your financial bottom line. Research and advisory firm Gartner estimates that the average cost of IT downtime for businesses is $5,600 per minute, or more than $300,000 per hour. What’s more, a full third of organizations say that an hour of IT downtime would cost their business over $1 million.
You might be under the impression that cloud computing is more resilient than on-premise systems. For example, many organizations store their primary backups on-premises, while maintaining duplicate versions of their data in the cloud.
However, moving to the cloud won’t offer you foolproof protection from a disaster. Even cloud services can go down unexpectedly, leaving you in the lurch.
Consider the cautionary example of Amazon Web Services, which was responsible for a massive outage in May 2017 that brought down websites such as Trello, Quora, and all sites built with the web development platform Wix. Amazon later reported that human error was responsible for the outage when an employee accidentally took down more web servers than intended.
There’s a critical lesson to be learned here: the cloud should be an important part of most organization’s disaster recovery strategy, but it too can suffer from the same problems and points of failure. If you’re running software and storing data in the cloud, your disaster recovery plan needs to include a different, secondary cloud provider so that you can continue operations without a hiccup.
Every disaster recovery plan should include concerns such as:
If you need help formulating a disaster recovery plan, speak with a qualified IT managed services provider.
We’ve gone over the devastating impact that a disaster can have on your business, and the need for every organization, large and small, to have a disaster recovery plan. But why should you choose to locate your disaster recovery infrastructure in Atlanta in particular?
Atlanta is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, as well as a regional gateway to the Southeast. In particular, the city has a growing reputation as a high-tech tub with a top-tier skilled IT workforce, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as the “Silicon Peach.” The state of Georgia has earned accolades such as “The Top 5 States for Innovation” and “The Top 10 States for High-Tech Job Growth” in recent years.
IT companies such as MailChimp, Rent.com, and BitPay are all headquartered in the greater Atlanta area. That’s not to mention Fortune 500 businesses such as UPS, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines, and Coca-Cola. Major tech firms like Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Twitter have also opened offices in Atlanta.
Atlanta and the state of Georgia provide a business-friendly climate for organizations to call home. Georgia is sixth in the Forbes “Best States for Business” ranking, for reasons such as low labor costs and low corporate tax rates.
What’s more, Atlanta is a major fiber convergence point and cross-connect for long-haul communications. Two of the largest fiber optic trunk lines in the U.S., North/South and East/West, both intersect in the metropolitan Atlanta region, as well as the research line Internet2. Massive carrier hotels such as 56 Marietta in downtown Atlanta offer unparalleled space, security, power, and convenience.
The greater Atlanta area is well-connected in general, acting as a major transport hub for the region and the country as a whole. This includes Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, as well as many highways and rail connections.
Finally, Atlanta also has geographic benefits that make it a smart location for a disaster recovery center. The city has a relatively low probability of extreme weather events and natural disasters, decreasing the likelihood of an unexpected disruption. Strategically located on the Eastern Seaboard but away from the coast, Atlanta is less vulnerable to catastrophic acts of nature, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, that can bring down your business operations at a moment’s notice.
These factors all combine to make Atlanta a very appealing option for diversifying your risk exposure along the U.S. East Coast.
Whether you manufacture widgets or run an e-commerce store, disaster recovery is essential in order to minimize the financial and reputational impact of a disaster and preserve the continuity of your business.
The problem is that you might not be an expert in disaster recovery. You might not know how to tell your RPOs from your RTOs, and you aren’t sure about the best way to protect your mission-critical data and software during and after a disaster.
Enter disaster recovery as a service. “DRaaS” is a term for solutions offered by IT managed services providers that help you recover quickly from a disaster. First, your IT environments and data are replicated on a third-party server to protect them in the event of a catastrophe. If a catastrophe does occur, end users are redirected to these backup servers while the DRaaS provider works to restore your operations, transferring your environments and data back to you.
DRaaS offerings are invaluable to organizations of all sizes and industries. They allow you to focus on what you do best—running your business—while leaving the technical issues and questions of disaster recovery in the hands of the pros.
Quick reaction times and a solid backup plan are essential for disaster recovery. If your business is located in or near the metropolitan Atlanta area, you need a DRaaS solution with minimal latency, in a secure and stable location, offered by an IT managed services provider with decades of experience in the field.
If you’re looking for disaster recovery in Atlanta, NETdepot can help. NETdepot’s DRaaS offerings are ideal for any organization that wants to make its business operations stronger and more resilient in the face of IT catastrophe. To learn how we can protect your business and help you recover from disaster, contact the NETdepot team today for a chat about your needs and objectives.