Your Strategic Partner for Disaster Recovery
When your apps are down, so is your organization. Get reliable recovery — in record time — with OST.
Our expert IT consultants are ready to build a future-minded disaster recovery solution that exceeds your requirements and optimizes your IT environment for cost savings whether your data is stored in the cloud, on-prem or both!
OST can tailor a variety of vendor-agnostic DR solutions to effectively protect your data, applications, and services in the event of an outage. Examples include:
- On-site and off-site data center backup and replication
- Private cloud solutions
- Hybrid cloud solutions
- Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)
- Backup as a service (BaaS or BUaaS)
- High-availability solutions
Protect Your Organization
In addition to comprehensive DR implementations, OST also offers workshops, economic assessments, collaborative training, and more. Some of our most popular engagements include:
Cloud and Hybrid IT Foundation or Adoption Workshops
Disaster Recovery Business Case Development
Disaster Recovery Strategy and Insights Workshop
Epic Architecture Workshop
Data Risk Assessment
Cloud and Hybrid IT Foundation Design
Cloud and Hybrid IT Economic Assessment
Risk Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Architecture Deployment
Regardless of the specific approach, working with OST will help your organization realize the benefits of effective disaster recovery:
On-demand disaster recovery capacity
Reducing total cost of ownership (TCO)
Decreased time to value (TTV) for DR solutions
Developing and managing runbooks for disaster recovery events
DR event automation for on-demand capacity, consistency, and performance
Modernizing your core technologies
Protecting your brand
Simplified infrastructure and operations
Alternative budget and accounting models
Your data is only as resilient as your backup and recovery solution. From business continuity planning to ongoing support and managed services, OST can help your organization thrive in the face of unplanned disasters and maintain stable, secure IT operations every day.
To speak with one of our experts, complete a quick contact form. We’ll get back to you right away. We look forward to speaking with you!
In the sections that follow, you can find additional information about types of disasters your organization may face, how disaster recovery works, your disaster recovery options, the value and importance of DR solutions, and much more.
Legacy Health: First Microsoft Azure Hybrid Epic DR Configuration
Epic has very specific requirements for performance and availability of the systems which drive the technology architecture. In addition, there is an ecosystem of application dependencies and integrations that must be carefully considered in the overall system design. When looking at multimillion-dollar expenditures to maintain the resiliency level that Legacy had built, being able to leverage Azure for the DR environment had the potential to strip out costs without compromising the availability.
Common Threats to Your Infrastructure, Applications, and Data
“Disaster recovery” tends to evoke images of hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other catastrophes, but IT disasters can be natural or man-made, large or small. Case-in-point: each minute of unplanned downtime costs businesses an average of between $900 and $17,000 (or more). Those costs in lost productivity, lost revenue, recovery efforts, etc. add up and can quickly escalate a “minor” outage to disaster status. This is why disaster recovery solutions should not just protect your organization from lost data in the event of a major calamity, but also stabilize your environment to minimize the risk of outages.
Unfortunately, businesses are facing an increasing number and variety of threats to their IT services. The top threats your organization is facing will depend on the size of your business, geography, staff expertise, and many other factors, but common threats that many businesses face each year include the following:
- Network outages
- Usage spikes and surges
- Human error
- Infrastructure hardware failure
- Power outages
- Software and application malfunctions
- External security breaches or unauthorized access
- Ransomware attacks
- Cyber terrorism
- Storage failure
- Natural disasters or weather events
Businesses need to carefully evaluate the risk for threats and proactively address them with a disaster recovery solution that makes sense for the organization’s specific needs.
Does Disaster Recovery keep you up at night?
A data center fire isn’t a good scenario for any business. But in healthcare, critical systems being down can have a truly negative impact on patients, the community and the business. If this message is falling flat in your organization, feel free to share this video to illustrate what might happen if the unthinkable happens.
How Basic Disaster Recovery Works
Disaster recovery should be one component of your overall business continuity plan. And although IT is a mission-critical component of your operations, your IT disaster recovery plan may be part of wider disaster recovery efforts.
Two important concepts affect how your disaster recovery solution will operate:
Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
RTO is measured in units of time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc.), and it establishes a goal for how fast your team can start working again after the moment a disaster or outage strikes. Your RTO will have a significant impact on the solution you need to implement.
For example, most hospitals and medical groups have very short RTOs (often less than 15 minutes) because a network outage can have an immediate, life-threatening impact on patients. Medium to enterprise-level businesses may also have very short RTOs due to the volume of business they do and the scale of productivity loss they would experience in the event of a disaster.
On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses may have longer RTOs (hours or days) because an extended network outage won’t have a drastic effect on their productivity, profits, or customer relationships.
Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
RPO is also measured in units of time, and it establishes a goal for how far back in time your most recent data backup occurred. You can also think of it as the minimum frequency of your backups. If your RPO is 1 hour, that means your system must back up at least every hour. And it means your data up to the point of a disaster will only be one hour old. Your RPO will have a significant impact on what type of solution you need to implement.
Here’s why: any data from the time of your recovery point to the time of your actual recovery will be lost. Let’s say your RPO is 1 hour (before a disaster) and your RTO is 1 hour (after a disaster). In that case, your organization would ideally be operational within 1 hour, but you would lose up to 2 hours of data (and productivity).
How sophisticated your organization’s disaster recovery system will be depends on your RPO and RTO. The overwhelming majority of organizations of every size have significantly more advanced disaster recovery strategies in place, but a simple example from tape media can help illustrate how recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives work (and why so few businesses use tape these days).
Imagine you create a daily backup of your mission-critical data on tape media and store it at your location. If you experience an outage and need to restore a backup, the most recent data you have will be from the previous day’s tape, but you’ll be able to restore it quickly once your systems are operational. That’s a long RPO (24 hours since your last backup) but a relatively short RTO (perhaps an hour after an outage to get your data restored from the on-site tape).
Of course, your disaster recovery solution needs to be about more than your best-case scenario. If you were to experience a severe disaster and your on-site backup tapes were destroyed, you would have effectively lost all your data. So, perhaps you decide to send every Friday’s backup tape off-site. This offers a significant advantage over no off-site backups, but in the event of a massive disaster, it will take a longer time to get the off-site tape, and you will lose more data. That means your RPO is very long (7 days) and your RTO is also long (perhaps 6 hours or more).
And this oversimplified example doesn’t take into account the actual work of restoring your infrastructure and applications themselves.
Disaster Recovery for Enterprise-Level Organizations
Most medium, large, and enterprise-level organizations have complex DR needs. Every DR solution needs to ensure availability for three primary segments of your IT operations: infrastructure, applications, and data.
These components can be configured in a variety of ways. And many larger organizations already have some type of IT disaster recovery in place. Examples include:
Cold-Site Disaster Recovery
A cold site is essentially just a space that is configured for rebuilding your data center and restoring service to users. Before recovery can start, all of the appropriate utilities, hardware, and other necessities need to be purchased and configured at the site. This is the cheapest form of off-site disaster recovery, but recovery time (RTO) can be very long (days or weeks).
Warm-Site Disaster Recovery
Warm sites have most of the hardware that exists in your primary data center, but it is not configured. That means your most recent backups need to be delivered to the location, and a bare-metal restore needs to be executed. Then recovery efforts can begin. A warm-site setup can reduce RTO, depending on how it is configured. And it is more costly than cold-site DR.
Hot-Site Disaster Recovery
A hot site is an exact copy of your primary data center. It has all your infrastructure and applications configured and ready to be enabled. Typically, the only thing missing from a hot site is your most recent complete backup. RTO for hot sites is often measured in hours or even minutes.
Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery
Whether your primary production environment is on-premises or in the cloud (or a combination of both), private, public, and hybrid cloud resources can serve a variety of functions from simply storing your backup data to fully replicating your primary data center. In addition to near-real-time backup and recovery, one of the most appealing reasons to shift disaster recovery to the cloud is the opportunity for cost savings.
Cloud-related cost savings arise from a variety of sources. But the primary reason disaster recovery on the cloud is cheaper is that your business does not need to invest in all of the hardware and overhead to build and support an on-prem data center.
Read the Story: Legacy Health Saves 65% With Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
For any of the options above, you can either manage disaster recovery yourself or work with an outside vendor like OST to manage (or help manage) your disaster recovery solution. In most cases, DRaaS uses cloud-based continuous replication to offer the best possible RTO and RPO without being prohibitively expensive. In fact, OST has been able to offer significant savings with our DRaaS offering compared to on-prem solutions.
At OST, we have decades of experience in on-prem and cloud-based disaster recovery solutions across a wide variety of industries from manufacturing to healthcare. Whether you need to modernize and improve your DR or you’re just starting to move forward with your organization’s first DR solution, OST is here to help you:
- Assess your recovery strategy.
- Define what DR success looks like.
- Choose a cost-effective path to achieve your DR goals.
- Implement and manage your DR solution over time.
OST Can Help Your Organization Thrive
Organizations often fail to prioritize disaster recovery in their strategic planning and in their budgets. Much like the costs of insurance coverage, DR can seem like it is not a necessity—right up until the moment it is.
OST is not here to sell you the most expensive, complex DR solution. We are here to help your organization understand the importance of disaster recovery, find a solution that makes sense for your specific needs, and successfully implement that solution.
Our most popular services related to disaster recovery include the following:
- Alignment Workshops
- Business Continuity Planning
- Automation and DevOps
- Application Resiliency
- Hybrid Cloud Networking
- Security and Data Protection
- Hybrid DR Architectures
- Identity and Access Management
- Public Cloud Backups and Disaster Recovery
- Ongoing Support and Managed Services
From disaster recovery consulting to complete managed disaster recovery solutions for your business, OST is ready to help you thrive in the face of disaster. Let’s start a conversation.
Go Beyond Disaster Recovery With OST
At its core, effective disaster recovery is about creating a seamless experience for users, both within your organization and externally. Over time, new technologies have revolutionized our expectations for the availability of services and our experience using them. To stay relevant and compete, your team needs to reorient your organization’s practices to meet these new expectations. That requires a deep understanding of consumers and employees as well as alignment across teams to deliver meaningful experiences to them.
To accelerate growth, it’s not enough to simply have a disaster recovery plan. It’s not enough to regularly back up your data. You need to think bigger and connect with consumers and employees in meaningful ways by creating meaningful experiences.
At OST, we are uniquely qualified to help you overcome the challenges slowing down and blocking your success in this new, experience-driven digital landscape. And that goes beyond discovering your unique business needs and implementing a disaster recovery solution that exceeds them. It can involve rethinking your organizational strategy, using data to gain actionable insights about users, freeing up your internal team to focus on innovation, and more.
Holistically Solving Problems for Your Business
We understand the importance of effective disaster recovery—and why organizations often hesitate to move DR initiatives forward. We want to find the best way to solve the problems and address the threats your organization is facing. We know what forward-thinking organizations look like—and we know how effective disaster recovery solutions work.
Our team can quickly understand the specific pain points you’re experiencing and help you determine the most sensible solution to resolve your current issues. We can set you up for long-term success. To talk with an expert, simply send us a message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We look forward to speaking with you!
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