Disaster Recovery: Maintaining Business Continuity
14 Mar 2015
Source: Express Computer
By: By Mohd Ujaley
At the core of disaster recovery is the fact that a copy of the mission critical data owned by the enterprise is kept at a different location. A DR solution must not only enable the business to recover from any natural or man-made disaster quickly, it should also be cost effective
Disaster recovery is a system of saving data in case an unexpected disaster strikes. There can be any number of negative events that can lead to disruption in the services that are being provided by any data center. But nowadays the consumers have come to expect flawless 24/7 service and failure of a data center, even for a few hours, is simply not an option.
A data center failure can lead to not only financial loss; it can also lead to the loss of reputation, which may result in an irreversible damage to the future prospects of the business. Hence disaster recovery (DR) technologies, which help enterprises in dealing with a broad range of disruption scenarios such as cyber attacks, fire, power-cut, riots, terrorist attack, cyclone, earthquake, etc., are of critical importance.
In an increasingly interconnected world that thrives by crunching massive amounts of data, it is obvious that the demand for disaster recovery solutions will have no limits. Industries such as banking, insurance, retail, telecom, eGovernance, and manufacturing are highly dependent on DR technologies.
The data center, converged infrastructure and storage segments are all set to grow at a healthy pace in the current year, and this will naturally lead to growth in the demand for disaster recovery solutions. According to Gartner, disaster recovery solutions are typically 4% of the data center budget and this share can go as high as 6-8% in a country like India where large numbers of disaster recovery projects are occurring. Hence, the DR solutions market size in India is expected to be on the high side for the year 2015 at 6-8% of the data center spend, totalling $125-$160 Million.
Disaster Recovery Solution: Not an afterthought anymore
The major sectors that are propelling demand for disaster recovery solutions are banking, government, telecom, IT/ITeS, and advent of affordable cloud services. “DR solutions have always been deployed by banking, government/PSU and large manufacturing organisations for the past few years. We also see a significant rise in the demand for DR in case of eGovernance projects,” says Chandra Sekhar Pulamarasetti, Co-Founder & CEO, Sanovi Technologies.
Also, DR solutions have become a key differentiator for business continuity and agility. Santhosh D’Souza, Director – Systems Engineering, NetApp India, is of the view that DR solutions have become a standard practice across most industry verticals. For financial services, communication & media, retails, citizen services, IT/ITeS industries, business continuance is absolutely critical. These companies cannot afford to lose customer data under any circumstances.
D’Souza is of the view that the enterprises are highly dependent on IT for delivering their products and services to their consumers, and for conducting interactions within the organisational ecosystem. They simply can’t afford to lose the connect with IT. “Like their global counterparts, the Indian enterprises too are conducting 24×7 operations. Day or night, their data center has to keep working with the same seamless efficiency,” adds D’Souza.
As the dependence on the IT systems has continues to rise, it also leads to greater demand for DR solutions. “Organisations are investing in modern technologies in order to strengthen their business across verticals and regions, which is one of the reasons for enhanced focus on DR solutions,” says Prashant Gupta, Head of Solutions, India, Verizon Enterprise Solutions. He also says that with government giving impetus to Digital India and Smart Cities initiatives, the need for DR solution will increase further in coming years.
Technology: Banking on DRaaS
While there is no dearth of awareness about the necessity of having DR solutions, the actual implementation of such systems is often inadequate, primarily due to the paucity of funds. Especially the small medium businesses (SMBs) face such financial issues and they fail to have an effective DR, leading to a situation where their business faces the constant thread of outage.
To address the challenge of affordable pricing, SMBs are banking on cloud service for disaster recovery. This is also known as DRaaS – Disaster Recovery as a Service. A DRaaS offering provides an architect to implement the solution, monitors and manages the data, and connects customers to the necessary resources in emergency situations. This could be a great benefit for many enterprises that don’t have the experience or the capital to invest in the talent, which is necessary for developing a comprehensive in-house plan for DR. In the eventuality where there is a data center failure, the customers would expect the disaster recovery experts are available round the clock to get the systems running smoothly in quick time.
“A cloud-based DR solution can significantly reduce the complexity and also control the cost of maintaining a server, networking, and data center infrastructure,” says Prashant Gupta of Verizon Enterprise Solutions. He points out that more businesses are examining cloud-based disaster recovery solutions as technology service providers are developing new offerings designed to fit the specifications and budgets of nearly any customer.
Prashant Gupta is also of the view that for IT BPO sector, it is a good opportunity to leverage the cloud based DR servers rather than invest in a DR infrastructure. “Due to the cost related advantages that it offers, cloud is being looked at by organisations across the world. The Indian organisations are also opting for cloud. We are seeing lot of demand from the e-commerce companies in India,” adds Gupta. “DR becomes affordable when it is deployed in the cloud.”
Recovery as Service (RaaS) is the newest offering that managed service providers and cloud service providers are offering, as an alternative to the expensive on-premise DR solutions. “With RaaS, the upfront cost of DR has become cheaper to a very large extent. Several SMB customers are now deploying cloud based DR solutions for their critical systems,” says Chandra Sekhar Pulamarasetti of Sanovi Technologies.
The global RaaS report by Markets and Markets predicts that RaaS will be a $5.8 billion market by the year 2018, growing at a CAGR of 54 percent. Chandra Sekhar Pulamarasetti points out that we are seeing initial trends in India too in this direction where several customers are evaluating and adopting RaaS solutions in the recent 6-9 months.
Outsourcing DR Solution
“Unless a business is willing and able to devote significant money and time to build and operate a backup site, outsourcing a DR solution would be the only viable alternative,” says Prashant Gupta of Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
The cost of implementation is usually low since the investment in hardware is small or non-existent. Also, the ability to increase and decrease the computational and storage related resources allows the business to effectively scale-up as needed. This allows them to avoid unnecessary expenditures. Above all, businesses can completely eliminate the cost of leasing, owning, and maintaining real estate to house the data at an additional location with a cloud-based DR solution. “We are seeing increasing number of requests for application centric DR solutions so that data recovery is guaranteed and consistent. This is generally not possible with traditional solutions that are storage or host driven,” says Chandra Sekhar Pulamarasetti of Sanovi Technology.
Pulamarasetti also points out that the enterprises are deploying mixture of standard and customer solutions, whereas in RaaS, there is a push to standardise and keep the DR solution simple. This will enable Service Providers to easily deliver across hundreds of customers in a short span of time. For private clouds being deployed by enterprises, there is again a need for standardised low-touch deployment based solutions for rapid self-provisioning.
Disaster recovery solution market in India has been maturing with the advent of cloud services. Now we are seeing a stronger movement towards disaster recovery as a service into cloud (DRaaS). In fact, this is the global trend—DR for enterprise systems are increasingly being put in the public cloud, which is managed by Amazon or the local Cloud Provider.
“A strong recovery within the telecommunication segment, coupled with growth within the manufacturing and the government segment will continue to drive market growth,” concludes Santhosh D’Souza of NetApp.