When Disaster Strikes Too Close to Home, IT Needs Data Protection

By Jesse St. Laurent, HPE Chief Technologist, Hyperconverged & SimpliVity

From hurricanes to flooding, earthquakes to wildfires, 2017 saw some widespread natural disasters. Yet when you ask some IT professionals about a disaster recovery plan for their companies, many seem unconcerned or woefully unprepared. Studies show that unless the odds of a natural disaster are high and are forecast to happen in the very near future, many people defer on taking the necessary action to protect themselves.

Many IT leaders believe a disaster recovery plan is a nice thing to have but not necessary. They are doing little to build a disaster site or do recovery planning and testing because they have become accustomed to a status quo. After all, nothing happened in the past, so why should they be concerned now? Everything seems OK -- until it’s not. Suddenly, when disaster strikes, they’re not ready. 

Why Disasters are Disastrous

IT teams may be surprised to learn that tackling a big project such as disaster recovery is much easier and less expensive than they might have imagined. All it takes is a series of small steps – carefully planned and implemented.

Here is one company that did just that.

In a law office whose 100 lawyers handle many big corporate clients by helping them go public or conduct mergers and acquisitions, the firm’s four-person IT team managed a traditional stack with nightly backups. But, like many smaller companies, they didn’t have an offsite disaster recovery location or plan beyond those backups.

Then they started hearing about a new hyperconverged infrastructure that could not only save time and money, but it would also reduce business risk by reducing recovery time objectives (RTO). In the case of this law office, a hyperconverged solution would cut RTO from 17 hours to 30 minutes.

The IT director originally thought that reducing RTO was in the nice to have category. Then he started to explore what exactly would happen to the law firm if disaster did strike. For example, this law office helps companies go public and should a catastrophic weather event occur, what would happen to all that carefully gathered and customer-critical data? If systems are down, lawyers miss delivery deadlines and customer meetings.

That in itself is not a good situation, but the firm’s liability would go way beyond the loss of productivity. For the senior partners of this law firm, brand and reputation concerns are paramount. A loss of hours or days of productivity and the associated data loss could mean customers would lose trust in the lawyers’ ability to manage the case. The risk was unacceptable.

Viewed this way, the firm moved swiftly to migrate to hyperconverged infrastructure with a full disaster recovery plan. HPE SimpliVity hyperconverged solution powered by Intel® helped the law office protect its data and brand, while saving a significant amount on their IT budget.

Reducing Business Risk with Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Most people who have heard of hyperconvergence know that it replaces traditional compute and storage, but few realize its implications for disaster recovery. Properly architected and deployed across two or more sites, a hyperconverged infrastructure not only reduces capital and operational costs, it also delivers disaster recovery.

HPE SimpliVity delivers a hyperconverged solution with full-featured, built-in backup and recovery at no additional cost.  Data protection features include the resilience, backup, and bandwidth-efficient replication needed to ensure the highest levels of data integrity and availability, eliminating the need for legacy data protection. HPE SimpliVity’s integrated disaster recovery also saves money by eliminating other backup devices. In fact, 51% of HPE SimpliVity customers have retired all of their existing backup and replication solutions after implementing HPE SimpliVity.

The gap between the risky status quo and well-managed disaster recovery solution is, in fact, much smaller than most people think. Hyperconvergence closes that gap – and it’s a good way to ensure your business is better prepared in the case of a natural disaster.

For a more in-depth analysis of disaster recovery through hyperconverged infrastructure, take a look at this data protection white paper from IDC. And for more information on hyperconvergence, download the free e-book: Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Dummies.


Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.