No one wants to be caught needing recovery tools in the wake of a disaster, especially with downtime costing what it does in lost opportunity, lost face in the market, competition taking market share and more. Actually executing disaster recovery, though, can be difficult. With so many options, how can you ever know if you're choosing the right one? Let's take a look at two of the leading options: in-house disaster recovery and outsourced disaster recovery.
In-House Disaster Recovery: If You Want It Done Right
While it might seem like a task too big to undertake, there are quite a few reasons to take care of the disaster recovery task in-house. Yet at the same time, there are drawbacks to the plan that must be considered.
Complete control. The ultimate advantage of an in-house operation is that you control it. Start to finish, every inch of the project is at your control. You decide what hardware is involved, what update schedule to adhere to, and so on. You're the final authority in an in-house project, and disaster recovery is no different.
Security. An in-house project offers ultimate security. No third parties ever have access to your data, and if they do, it's because you gave them that access or they broke through your security systems. In fact, under the right conditions, you can put in an air-gapped system, which represents the ultimate in network security. An air-gapped system has no outbound network connection, and so is inaccessible to hackers aside from a handful of methods that are better suited for spy thrillers than real life.
Smaller firms save money. Disaster recovery operations change depending on the size of the business. While larger firms require server-level backup—which includes applications and server settings—smaller firms' disaster recovery may be as simple as a file-level backup. A File-level backup can be accomplished with a USB hard drive of sufficient size, and that could represent hefty cost savings over an outsourced project.
No guarantees. One of the downsides of sole control, however, is that you're completely in charge. That means disaster recovery takes as long as it takes you to recover from the disaster. You have no guarantee of uptime, nor have you guarantee of recovery time, beyond that you can provide for yourself.
Your only basket for eggs. Remember that old saw about putting all your eggs in one basket? That's what an in-house disaster recovery program is. The same building where you carry out your everyday business is also the building where your disaster recovery tools are. The same tornado that tore off your roof may have soaked your servers where all the backup data is stored.
It'll cost you. Unless you're a business small enough to get by with file-level backup, you'll have to carry out the relevant costs of an in-house operation yourself. That means not only more storage space for the files, server settings, and such but also more office real estate to keep the storage space. Plus, you'll need your own in-house IT team to take care of the disaster recovery operations. Those planning to shift the responsibility onto a current IT team may want to consider if they want to lose the time and resources that team could have used for other things.
Outsourced Disaster Recovery: A Man's Got to Know His Limitations
Outsourced disaster recovery might look like the prudent option, but even here, it's not an approach without its own share of downsides.
Scalable. When you're outsourcing your disaster recovery systems, you can make them as extensive or as abbreviated as you need. There's no need to buy excess capacity to make up for extra demand later; just add extra capacity when you need it. Better yet, you can actually use what you have on hand as part of the system —sometimes called a “hybrid” for using both internal and external systems — to make up the whole disaster recovery system.
Schedulable. An in-house project runs backups only when you actively do the backing up. An outsourced system can be set up on a schedule, even every day or as often as every 15 minutes to help minimize data lost to a disaster. If you had to choose, would you rather lose a day's worth of data or a week's worth? Scheduled disaster recovery updates can keep those losses slimmer.
Remotely operable. Some outsourced services make it possible for users to handle backup and restoration options remotely. This means there's no need to keep a team on standby for the whole day to make sure disaster recovery options can be launched immediately.
Time-eater. Ever try to use a system when it's updating? You know it's sluggish at best, and prone to locking up at worst. Imagine a system that's updating every quarter-hour. That could be what happens if you run a scheduled backup system.
Potentially dangerous. Depending on the kind of backup you're using, you may be counting on an internet connection to someone else's servers to get your information back. If you don't have an internet connection because you just had a disaster, how will you get your information back to stage disaster recovery?
Insufficient recovery. Without understanding the specific requirements of disaster recovery and all the options available, you may not get what you need. Thankfully, this can be overcome with a little advance testing and study, but it's a point to be considered.
Get the Right Kind of Disaster Recovery
In the end, there isn't one right kind of disaster recovery, but rather, a right kind of disaster recovery for your business. That's why, when you want disaster recovery options, you should get in touch with us at UTG. We've got a wide range of options to offer, whether you need a simple disaster recovery system or a much more complex one. So just drop us a line and let's get you started moving toward a safer, more effective, and more well-protected environment with the right level of disaster recovery.