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Disaster recovery is one of the most important topics in the business community. And if you’re the type to put stock in market research, you know it’s a discussion that needs to be had. According to IBM’s infographic The Human Side of Disaster Recovery, which includes data sourced by StorageCraft, just 60 percent of employers believe their employees would know how to respond in a disaster scenario. To complicate matters, only 41 percent of companies in the United States have a backup site to shift their operations to in the event of a disaster.

Sure, having some semblance of a plan is better than no plan at all, but failed preparation often comes at a high price. Whether it’s losing revenue or losing the confidence of your customers, the cost of downtime potentially becomes greater with every passing second.

In our ongoing effort to make sure you have all the bases covered, we’ll explore some of the hottest trends in disaster recovery today.

1. Back Up to the Cloud

Our post 5 Ways the Hybrid Cloud Improves Disaster Recovery took an in-depth look at how the cloud is revolutionizing the DR landscape. Gone are the days when physical sites, servers, and disk drives were the foundation of a backup system. At the very least, the cloud provides the luxury of having another backup destination for your data. At a more advanced level, it can replicate the foremost core of your IT environment and act as an offsite safe haven for backup copies. View the cloud as a key addition to your overall DR strategy rather than a full-on replacement and you’re halfway there.

2. Flexible Backup Sites

So you have a fully redundant data center and the best backup software money can buy. That’s fantastic, but without an offsite DR environment in the cards, you’re setting all those pretty little eggs in one basket. In the past you had two options: splurge on a backup site, or lease space for your servers and storage devices through a colocation arrangement. Today, even smaller firms who lack the resources to manage a second facility can afford a secondary site that springs into action if their primary data center is compromised. More importantly, they can pass the buck of physical maintenance on to a cloud service provider better equipped to handle it.

3. Third-Party Outsourcing

According to Markets and Markets, the Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) vertical market reach $11.11 billion by 2021. The meteoric rise of DRaaS suggests that the business community is steadily embracing the idea of outsourcing critical IT functions to third-party suitors. Whether it’s improving your DR capabilities or simply gaining access to the management expertise you’re lacking internally, the benefits of IT outsourcing are hard to ignore. Even if it just frees up time and resources by significantly reducing your in-house responsibilities, this trend might be worth the risk.

4. Digital Communications

In a not-so-distant past, phone and email were the primary modes of communication. Of course they’re still around, but now you have other, more immediate options at your disposal. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, a growing number of social networking platforms help you send word to staff, customers, and vendors faster than what is often possible via traditional channels. Each method can be configured to operate seamlessly across laptops, smartphones, and tablets to provide the utmost flexibility during crisis mode.

5. MDR

The proliferation of ransomware, phishing, and sophisticated social engineering attacks has made the threat landscape more dangerous than ever. If you’re an MSP or would simply like to rest easier at night, MDR is the trend to watch. Managed Detection and Response is a fast growing industry that goes beyond intrusion detection ad prevention by continuously monitoring your network, alerting your security team of verified exploits, and rapidly responding to confirmed security incidents. Gartner anticipates improving detection and response capabilities through means such as MDR being a chief priority through 2020.

Building the Ultimate DR Strategy

There is certainly no shortage of trends and technologies in the ever-evolving disaster recovery space. It can be exhausting, but the good thing coming out of all this is the plethora of options at your fingertips. You’ll never find a one-size-fits-all solution, but what you can do is build a custom solution that maximizes your returns and perfectly fits your disaster recovery needs.

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    • Hi John,

      I'm glad you asked! I believe your company is in New Zealand, is that correct? You'll probably want to contact our sales team in Australia at sales[at]storagecraft.com.au or call +61 2 8061 4444. If you are interested in signing up in the United States or Canada, you can either submit an inquiry here: http://www.storagecraft.com/shadow-protect-msp.php or contact our sales team directly at 801.545.4700 or via email at sales[at]storagecraft.com.

  • This is good news that Shadowprotect will be supporting Linux OS. What if we use the current iso to take backup of linux OS, can it work for backup and restore? Let me know.

    • Hello Vinod,

      Yes, we believe this is great news that StorageCraft will be releasing a CrossPlatform version of ShadowProtect which supports both the Windows and Linux platforms. We're very excited about this news.

      The current release of the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment - CrossPlatform is a positive step towards supporting the Linux OS. Currently this CrossPlatform Recovery Environment is intended only for backing up and recovering Windows OS systems (including Windows 8 and Server 2012). Another release will have the complete tools for backing up and recovering both Linux and Windows systems. I can tell you that this later release will be out before the end of the year. Until then, thank you for your kind comments and we we're looking forward to providing you with more information about this exciting update in the near future. Check back with us again soon.

  • Thanks, Casey. This was a really interesting take on the NSA's new local data center. Despite the privacy concerns, I'm excited to see what this means for the state. Silicon Slopes is definitely filling up with some great names!

  • Rather than placing it somewhere that looks nice or aesthetically pleasing, make sure that it is located at a place that allows proper circulation of air.

  • Wow is this for real? You cover how easily a host can get a virus and how the tech runs at the base level?

    Has a vmware host ever gotten hacked or got a virus?

    Has a windows computer ever gotten hacked or got a virus?

    I almost spit out my water when I read the part about Hyper V and stability. We have both Hyper V (2008 R2/2012) and VMware. Some REAL facts.

    * We have gone over a year on some of our vmware clusters with out patching or rebooting a host. NONE of our Hyper V hosts have reached 90 days.

    * Install and setup of a clustered Hyper V host takes about 10 times longer than a clustered VMware host.

    * Upgrading a Hyper V cluster....IS NOT POSSIBLE. You cant have two versions in the same cluster so you must build a new cluster and migrate the VM's over. The migration requires downtime for all VM's on a SAN volume. Ugrading a typical 8 node VMware cluster takes about 90min as upgrade the hosts one at a time and reboot them. (VMware supports mixed versions on a cluster.)

    * Many functions in Hyper V are POWERSHELL only. For instance you cant mass upgrade the "VM additions" in SCVMM unless a guest is off. In VMware you can highlight 50 (or more) running VM's and update the vm tools. It requires a reboot but the effort is 10x easier to complete.

    * We have NEVER had a VMware host go down, at all, not once. We have had MANY hyper v hosts drop all of their VM's for many different reasons. 99% of the time its YET ANOTHER hotfix you cant get from Windows update, to fix a storeport driver, or a MPIO issue, or a failover cluster issue. There is NO WAY we would run our production servers on Hyper V.

    * Drivers....for Hyper V you can get them from your hardware vendor (Dell, HP, etc) or Microsoft, or right from say Intel or Broadcom. Often MS Premiere support will tell us to go to the NIC drivers sight and get the driver vs the Microsoft driver or the Dell driver when we have a problem. VMware.....gives you the ONLY drivers you need. Yes they re-package the vendor drivers but you get them from one source, they are tested and supported.

    A real comparison is not a technical white paper, its in the trench usage of these products.

  • Casey, congratulations on this blog post -- I could not agree more. I am the editor of the Varnex Insider magazine, and would like to talk with you about the possibility of publishing this blog in our next issue (with full credit to you and StorageCraft, of course). Please email me at the address I provided so we can talk about this. Thanks very much. -- John

  • Great post, thanks Casey Morgan for writing such an informative post. Every body knows the importance of backup but no one takes care of it. Thanks fro reminding and guiding for backups.

  • Another win-win with image-based backups which ShadowProtect delivers is the ability to take a full "base image" backup and then "incremental" backups which only capture the changes that have occurred -- greatly reducing the storage requirements for image-based backups.

    Then with ImageManager, you can consolidate the image chain over time, set retention policies and even take advantage of the new rolling consolidation feature in ImageManager 6.

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