What the End of IT Silos Means for Business Continuity Planning
In the world of IT, silos have always reigned supreme.
Worried over potential security breaches or that a “noisy neighbor” application could become a chronic resource hog, IT managers have always tended to err on the side of safety and keep their applications separate and apart.
But now that siloed approach is being gradually, but inevitably, bridged by the cloud.
IT managers who just a few years ago might have paled at the thought of allowing two different workloads from inside their own organization to share resources, are now comfortable using public cloud services such as Azure and AWS, where their workloads sit side by side, not just with other applications from their own organization, but any number of unknown applications from unknown organizations. That’s a big change.
Of course, silos won’t be disappearing right away. When all it takes is a credit card to get a cloud service up and running, there will always be silos. In fact, much of the current multi-cloud phenomena—the majority of today’s cloud users rely on four or more providers according to IDC—is a continuation of the siloed approach by another name (IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Cisco, Multicloud is the New Normal, March 2018).
Still, it’s clear that as IT managers set aside long held (and understandable) anxieties over what resource is devoted to what application, they are learning to embrace the cloud for what it really is: one big multifunction, multipurpose resource, where different tools and resources can be used for different things. And that also has big implications – not just for where different applications are located – but also for the execution of traditional IT functions, such as business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR).
BCDR is a vital IT function that is increasingly moving to the cloud.
If your IT goes down, getting back on your feet will require an up-to-date copy of your production environment, and a way to rapidly take it live. But now instead of investing in physical backups, expensive SAN arrays, and (often) at least one completely redundant backup facility on standby, you can contract with a managed cloud service provider (MCSP) to get access to all those things on demand.
Right now, cloud-based Disaster-recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solutions are posting 36%+ growth rates. At Navisite, one of the first things we explore with new clients is how they can take advantage of the cloud for BCDR.
Interestingly, what many people don’t realize is that once you have an up-to-date production-ready environment on standby—and all the BCDR tools and services that go with it—there are lots of things you can do with it, like:
- Testing new application strategies
- Spinning up quality assurance and dev/test environments faster—and taking them down just a quickly when they are not needed
- Migrating legacy applications
There is no reason all those production resources must sit alone and unused in the “BCDR silo”. That’s the old, pre-cloud way of looking at BCDR.
Interestingly, the cloud’s impact on BCDR is being felt at the same time that many experts are debating whether business continuity planning is too focused on compliance and recovery standards, and should instead put greater emphasis on practical actions that are known to increase the speed and completeness of a recovery. Instead of being something you hope you’ll never use, the capabilities associated with BCDR would become part of your daily routine.
To get a better handle on these issues, take advantage of the Navisite white paper The New World of Cloud-Based Business Continuity. It looks at the value the cloud brings to BCDR, how cloud-based BCDR can also support IT functions beyond recovery, and the role a managed cloud service provider (MCSP) such as Navisite can play in helping you develop a BCDR plan to protect your business.
Navisite offers the industry’s leading cloud-based disaster recovery solutions, as well as a full set of services for evaluating your organization’s needs and helping you chart the best path forward. We’re ready to delve into your specific business requirements, understand your priorities for protecting or restoring services, and help you make full use of the BCDR capabilities for things like application testing and migration.
As an Azure Expert MSP and Microsoft Gold-certified partner, as well as an 18-year VMware Showcase Partner, Navisite has the deep experience in multiple cloud platforms to help you build the right disaster recovery approach for your organization.
We also have the expertise to help offload onerous disaster recovery processes with our fully managed DRaaS offerings—so your IT team can focus on business initiatives that help drive maximum business success.
Disaster recovery has always been a reactive discipline. Cloud-based BCDR is the path to making it proactive, getting out in front to prevent the most damaging aspects of any form of business interruption, but also using the tools and technologies of cloud-based BCDR to help take your IT to the next level.