SAP Disaster Recovery and the ‘New Normal’
Updated: May 22, 2020
In 2018, a study found that 45 per cent of all unplanned service outages were caused by hardware failures, followed by loss of power, software failure, data corruption and external security breaches.
While such incidents were the most likely causes of service outage in the days before the outbreak of COVID-19 -what have the events of 2020 taught us about Disaster Recovery (DR) in the ‘new normal’?
It was safe to assume before lockdowns were imposed that key staff could be wherever they needed to be to help the business recover from a disaster. In the new normal however, businesses are faced with a remote workforce, locked-up premises and travel restrictions that make it extremely difficult to reach site to recover from a disaster. This situation, poses many practical questions:
Does your recovery process rely on restoring from backup tapes? If so, how do you physically locate, obtain and change those tapes to run your restores?
Can failed disks still be shipped within service levels? Even if replacement disks are shipped, can engineers get to site to swap them out?
If your business experiences such a spike in demand for its product that your IT systems fail to cope with the additional load (as happened to Azure in March when Teams demand spiked 775 per cent), how would you recover your service whilst simultaneously adding the necessary capacity?
Furthermore, managing a disaster recovery environment capable of running a production workload would likely require a large upfront investment, potentially equal to that spent on production itself. Despite best intentions, DR tests can often be delayed or postponed as strategic projects take priority or when production downtime cannot be achieved. Businesses in such situations could find themselves investing heavily in expensive, yet idle DR solutions, without much evidence that they are fit for purpose.
Test and address
Failure to both test and address the additional hazards posed by a pandemic risks not only lengthy IT outages, but also reputational damage, potentially leading to the businesses' doors being closed forever. Ninety-three per cent of companies without DR who suffer a major data disaster are out of business within one year.
Many companies will emerge from COVID-19 with many process and structural changes. The airline industry will no doubt be a very different beast for the foreseeable future; while retail outlets and the manufacturers and supply chains that feed them must adapt to expect more frequent spikes in demand, and at short notice, in the event of further pandemic waves.
It is essential that DR strategies recognise and adapt to the new normal. A DR strategy must deliver a platform that scales up or down to meet unpredictable loads, do so with minimum upfront investment and must be capable of being entirely managed remotely. Recovery tests should be performed as frequently as is necessary, with minimal impact on resource and minimum or no impact on production operation.
Cloud is the only platform that enables a DR service to be built with both minimal upfront investment and near-zero run costs while the landscape lies idle. It does so while allowing the platform to automatically scale up and down to meet varying demand, paying only for what you use. Critically, a Cloud DR strategy is 100% remotely managed and will never demand that staff visit the data centre to change tapes or swap failed disks, clearly vital in the current climate.
If you want to discuss your DR requirements, you can speak to the CLOUDWRXS team on +44 203 3322 007 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org