How to improve disaster recovery processes

data-centerWorkload automation tools can carry out disaster recovery processes with minimal oversight.

There are many contingencies that business leaders must prepare for, but one of the most pressing needs continues to go ignored by these individuals: disaster recovery. A strong business continuity and disaster recovery plan can safeguard an organization against many threats, including power outages, inclement weather and hardware failure. Some enterprise heads view these incidents as unlikely to occur and, as such, neglect to invest in a disaster recovery solution that would ensure that critical systems remain online in the event of an emergency.

According to the Pocono Record, not enough business owners and organizational leaders take these matters seriously, putting themselves at risk of significant service disruption. Speaking with the news outlet, business consultant Maria Montenegro urged organizations to place more emphasis on disaster recovery and ensuring that they have a plan in place to bring crucial systems back online following an emergency. She argued that these preparations should be extensive, covering every possible contingency and assuming that the worst will happen.

Automate disaster recovery
A major component of any reliable business continuity plan is disaster recovery automation. When disaster strikes, one of the worst things that can happen is that key personnel are unavailable to address the resulting jobstream issues and get the business continuity process started. Writing in FierceCIO, data recovery software market veteran David Zimmerman recently offered several tips for optimizing business continuity efforts, including incorporating automation solutions. He noted that in addition to being able to launch recovery operations without the direct intervention of IT members, disaster recovery automation will enable organizations to retain their crucial information and IT assets in the event of a significant outage or system failure. When disasters on this scale occur, every second counts. Automated disaster recovery solutions ensure that business continuity processes spring into action without delay, maximizing enterprise functionality in the face of an emergency.

Another benefit of disaster recovery automation is that the technology simplifies and streamlines critical processes at a time typically marked by confusion and fear. When disaster strikes, even the most hardened and experienced IT employee may succumb to the pressure of the moment and make a critical mistake that scuttles the recovery process. Workload automation largely removes the threat of operator error by shouldering the recovery workload and carrying out these tasks itself.

For organizations that require some level of manual oversight when conducting disaster recovery operations, automated systems still presents a great deal of value. Many companies require several IT members to be on hand at any given time to react to bottlenecks and other jobstream issues that could become more severe and threaten sustainable enterprise functionality. By incorporating a high-quality automation system like SMA Solutions’ OpCon, these organizations can reduce the number of personnel needed to carry out the recovery process and streamline business continuity efforts.

“[Disaster recovery] used to take a whole team up to three days; now I can handle it myself in 15 minutes,” said Greg Thomas, principal architect for Hewlett Packard/EDS in the Asia/Pacific region. “When our program notes an equipment failure, it automatically notifies the person on call.”