Nymad and Alternative Networks will be running an event that will help address these and other issues associated with DR. For more details and to register – Click Here
Welcome to part three of our blog series. In blog one, we looked at defining a strategy, and refining an existing one. In blog two we reviewed how quickly a fit for purpose service can turn into silos that no longer deliver what is required for a business. In this blog, we consider whether using service partners may help you achieve your DR goals.
Private or Public Cloud? Insource or Outsource?
Your business will have certain operational constraints that may limit options for you (any readers from GCHQ may as well stop reading at this point), but assuming that you are able to outsource some, or all of your DR processes, then consider the following:
• Insource vs. outsource
• Public – private – hybrid cloud
Communications, infrastructure resilience and security capabilities are now such that you have real choices in how you provision your DR – the latest encryption and security technology allows you to wrap the data before sending, meaning it can reside safely in the cloud. Anything is possible, it just comes down to your appetite of risk vs. cost. Disk space in your best friend’s new data centre (his loft) may be cost effective, but would you swallow the risk?
The insource vs outsource debate hangs on the expertise and resource that you have available within your business. Most operating systems now contain continuity provisions straight out of the box; but do you have the skills and appetite to take that work on? This is where outsourcing can help, by bringing in specialists who can be paid based upon business outcome.
Aside from the configuration work, you require the infrastructure to support a resilient set up. Most SMEs don’t have geographically diverse datacentres, and the installation and upkeep of these simply isn’t financially viable, before you get onto security, ups etc. An outsourcer has already invested in this, and you can benefit from this, with the incremental opex costs built into an agreement.
Finally outsourcing can also provide additional protection in the form of bespoke SLAs for the availability and restoration of your critical systems, backed by financial penalties – should targets not be hit. This is something which just isn’t possible internally.
This sounds great, and indicates what led Gartner to predict that 30% of businesses will have adopted some DRaaS by the end of 2014. But you shouldn’t just rush into the outsourcing with just anyone. We have all heard about the five Ps – “proper planning prevents poor performance” – and in my experience this holds true for all things, including Insource vs. Outsource decisions. Before you decide you must be clear on what you require and then look for a third party to provide baseline costs for comparison.
You really need to understand:
- Return to service
- Service catalogue
- What non production environments to include
- No test and development capability may equal substantial project delays
- Does the data centre meet your availability requirements?
- What lengths does the 3rd party go to protecting your data?
- Where does your data reside – physically and geographically?
- What is your worst case scenario?
- Pay by bandwidth
- Pay by storage
- Pay by application
- Pay by SLA
- Private cloud
- Public cloud
- Hybrid cloud – understand the; what, when and why of this one in great detail!
Once you have your quotes against your clearly defined requirements, you are in a position to compare third parties against internal cost, with a clear conscience that the service will be an appropriate blend of cost and risk.
Join me for the next post where we’ll look at the first steps to realising your strategy.