Jeff Whitehead is vice president of engineering and operations for Zetta and an expert in cloud-based data protection, online backup and disaster recovery for the construction industry. Visit zetta.com for more information.
An insufficient disaster recovery plan is much like having cracks in the foundation of a building. If a disaster strikes, the damage to your construction business can be difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. Consider the cost you might incur if lightning struck and took down your primary business server. Would your contracts, engineering plans, CAD files and site maps be recoverable? How long would it take for your business to get back up and running?
According to IDC , the average cost of downtime is about $100,000 per hour. Even more surprising, most organizations experience 10 to 20 hours of unplanned downtime every year—and that’s without any disaster taking place. Factor in major events including fires, hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes, and the probability that your business could be offline for days or even weeks becomes high.
That’s why it is critical for your business to be prepared. Being disaster recovery (DR)-ready can be easier and more cost effective when leveraging disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions.
Cloud-based DR can offer robust performance and features without the high implementation cost. Thanks to advancements in data transfer technologies, bigger data can now be securely replicated to a cloud-based datacenter with exceptional speed. If your primary server fails, you can instantly “spin up” a version of the server in the cloud and run operations just as you normally would by using the cloud-based version of your data. Once your failed server is back online, you can easily restore your most current data from the cloud—all without suffering any data loss or wasting work time.
4 Essential DRaaS Features
DRaaS gives your business the solid foundation of reliability to withstand anything that comes your way. If you’re considering a DRaaS solution for your construction business, consider the following essential features. These features will ensure that your new DR strategy is not only effective, but also efficient.
- Physical and virtual servers and applications in the cloud —Not all DRaaS solutions are built the same. When selecting the DR solution for your construction business, opt for a solution that will run both physical and virtual servers and applications from the cloud without interruption to workflow. This will help you continue on with business as usual following a larger site disaster. It also assures that you can protect all of your workflows with ease, regardless of whether they are hosted on a physical server or virtual machine.
- Direct-to-cloud without an appliance —Many DR solutions require the installation of a physical appliance, which sits between your server and the cloud connection. This adds complexity and can cause bottlenecks in the recovery process because you will need to replace the appliance before your server can be restored. This can cost you valuable time in managing extra, unnecessary hardware. Recovery in the event of a disaster should be fast, and direct-to-cloud recovery ensures that speed and simplicity.
- Affordability—The idea that DRaaS is a luxury that only larger enterprises can afford is a myth. With the simplicity of a direct-to-cloud DRaaS solution, companies of every size can easily protect all their applications and workloads efficiently and cost effectively. Select a DRaaS solution that offers a clear and affordable pricing model, so you can protect all of your vital construction applications and unstructured files without breaking the bank.
- Recovery of the most current information —Recovering from a disaster isn’t valuable if you aren’t able to recover the most current set of your important data. Be sure that the DRaaS solution you rely on gives you access to the most recently backed up data, so that your recovery is not only quick and affordable, but also useful.