Disaster recovery: A necessity, not a luxury

Disaster recovery is no longer a massive expense with the advent of virtualisation and cloud

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Disaster recovery: A necessity, not a luxury Yasser Zeineldin, CEO at eHosting DataFort says that 56% of business disruption threats are related to hardware or software.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  December 11, 2012

Disaster recovery is no longer a massive expense with the advent of virtualisation and cloud, and with innovations in the disaster recovery sphere making it easier to deploy and maintain a DR site it is an insurance policy all enterprises should look at, according to regional experts.

There are many threats that will cause business disruption, from man-made threats such as viruses or war, to environmental threats such as floods and earthquakes.  Many can be broadly classified as security threats, including virus attacks, hardware/firmware corruption, accidental deletion, hacking or physical break-ins.

According to Yasser Zeineldin, CEO at eHosting DataFort, 56% of business disruption threats are related to hardware/software, power, telecommunications, 20% have a malicious intent, and 24% are natural disasters.

This last category may be one of the most important trends in disaster recovery, as climate change is believed to be responsible for an unprecedented level of losses due to natural disasters.  For example, recent events like Hurricane Sandy in North America caused approximately $50 billion in damages, including leaving eight million homes and businesses without power.

The intensity and widespread nature of such natural disasters means backup and recovery centres need to be located far enough out of region for adequate safety and recovery.

Disaster recovery is a very big trend for 2013 and beyond, and for many companies it is an insurance policy that they did not think they required, until they needed it. The notion that ‘my data will never be affected’ was prevalent in the market, but now there is the realisation that it is important to have a disaster recovery plan, particularly from a compliance point of view.

“Across the region there is a lot more interest in disaster recovery from both the enterprise and the SMB sector. The fact of the matter is yes it is becoming a lot more affordable and manageable and the complexity of disaster recovery solutions has come down enormously in the last few years,” explains Aman Munglani, research director at Gartner.

The cost of hosting has also been coming down rapidly, making deploying a disaster recovery site much more available to a larger number of companies. This means that when the primary site and secondary site belongs to in-house the third site can either be with a service provider or a disaster recovery provider.

From an overall perspective the falling cost per gigabyte and the availability of scale-up systems are making disaster recovery faster and cheaper.

According to Philippe Elie, director of operations, EMEA, Riverbed, disaster recovery is a hit in UAE and GCC at the moment.

“I was attending and IDC event in Saudi one month ago and when I was polling the audience, the great majority was thinking of or already deploying a disaster recovery product and the trends are the focus on security and the threat around security and the fact now that it is getting cheaper,” he says.

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