Most businesses aren’t as resilient as they think. Historically, backup and recovery processes for IT and cloud environments are:
- Composed of manual processes to replicate and protect workloads and data,
- Kept in a written business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) plan, and
- Implemented by a person or team.
Manual processes are onerous on the IT or security team. For some businesses, manual processes and procedures for orchestrating data replication fail to capture certain workloads or don’t have recovery times that are suitable for business continuity. For others, out-of-date policies may neglect to protect new workloads and data. Still others may suffer the consequences of inconsistent protection policies across different environments that leave apps and data vulnerable in one location despite adequate protection in another. Some businesses do not adequately test their business continuity and resiliency processes, and therefore have no idea whether some aspect of protection is neglected, or a workload is recovered too slowly. Regardless of the problem, the result is the same: a lack of business continuity and resilience.
Ensuring the security and overall resilience of a business has long been a challenge and has been cited as a concern for the last decade as businesses implement cloud — particularly hybrid cloud—initiatives. In 2022, 48% of businesses around the world and from a variety of industries surveyed by Frost & Sullivan said that implementing resiliency plans was a challenge as they deployed their cloud environments.
The result? Critical workloads or data may not be adequately protected. For example, workloads or data may not be replicated to geographically dispersed locations to prevent loss in the event of a natural disaster in one place, or a newly deployed app or service may not be added to a disaster recovery plan. And if a workload happens to be in a hybrid configuration, with code and data split among public cloud, on-premises data center and edge? Then the same protections and policies that govern the workload in one location must be manually and consistently applied across all others. The result is a lot of manual labor for inadequate protection.
That’s why automation — policies that are triggered for automatic enactment if or when a workload meets specific criteria — is so important to protect your workloads and your business. Automation enables greater consistency and governance of backup and recovery workloads and applies the same governance to a workload regardless of location. Automatic backup orchestration significantly increases the protection of business workloads, ensures consistent governance and prevents human error that can diminish or negate the effects of governance policies in the first place.
Automating your workload protection can also extend to your disaster recovery testing. Testing is key, because it shows you where your current policies might fail or be incomplete before an actual emergency creates a loss of apps or data. Routine testing that occurred multiple times per year used to be a time-consuming, albeit necessary, task to ensure that protections were appropriate and working to restore everything needed for a business to run normally. But by automating your BC/DR testing, you can ensure the right levels of protection without sacrificing prime productivity time for your team.
Businesses can also orchestrate the recovery process. By identifying specific triggers, such as a certain time that an app or data is inaccessible or when a server loses power for more than a specified amount of time, a policy can be created to automatically enact failover to a target environment — often before users notice that the production app or data is unavailable.
Automating the entire BC/DR process—from backup to testing to recovery orchestration—enables far faster and more complete workload and data recovery, with faster recovery times than would be available using manual processes. This minimizes downtime for your business in the event of an outage or disaster and fortifies cyber resilience.
Industry Principal, ICT
Frost & Sullivan
For more information, check out our enterprise buyer’s guide for data protection.
 N=898, 2022 Frost & Sullivan Annual Cloud User Survey, August 2022