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Resilient Disaster Recovery In Hybrid IT: A Comprehensive Framework

Resilient Disaster Recovery In Hybrid IT: A Comprehensive Framework

All businesses need a comprehensive framework for implementing resilient disaster recovery strategies in hybrid IT environments to ensure business continuity and data integrity. This framework needs to cover incident response, data backup and restoration, failover mechanisms, and rapid recovery. With that in mind, here is a straightforward guide on how to develop a robust disaster recovery plan for a hybrid IT setup.

Understanding the hybrid IT environment

The term “hybrid IT environment” refers to an IT environment that combines real-world and cloud infrastructure. Traditionally, the real-world infrastructure was an on-premises data center. Now it is more likely to be a colocation facility.

If on-premises infrastructure is included, it will typically be for edge computing. Edge computing may also be implemented through edge colocation facilities.

The cloud element may be private or public. These days, it is likely to be both. In fact, it is now common for businesses to have a private cloud plus multiple public clouds.

Understanding disaster recovery in hybrid IT setups

Disaster recovery is a systematic process designed to restore and resume critical IT systems, applications, and data to a functional state after a disruptive event. In a hybrid IT setup, disaster recovery processes need to address the specific characteristics of each environment. At the same time, they still need to operate in a unified, cohesive manner.

Why disaster recovery is vital for all businesses

There are many reasons why disaster recovery is vital for all businesses. All of them, however, relate to the fact that effective disaster recovery minimizes downtime. This means that it minimizes the potential cost of downtime.

The cost of downtime can extend far beyond the costs of lost productivity. For example, it can create reputational damage that can lead to loss of business. It can also leave a business exposed to compliance penalties and lawsuits for damages.

Developing a comprehensive framework for disaster recovery in hybrid IT setups

Fortunately, the risk of downtime can be effectively mitigated by developing a comprehensive framework for disaster recovery. With that in mind, here is a 10-step process for a comprehensive framework for disaster recovery in a hybrid IT environment.

Conduct risk assessment and business impact analysis

Identify potential risks, including those specific to hybrid IT, such as interconnection failures. Conduct a thorough business impact analysis to prioritize critical systems and applications for efficient recovery.

Map and organize data

Map data so that you know exactly what you hold and where it is. Identify data that needs to be managed in line with regulatory data security standards. If working across national or domestic boundaries (e.g. US state lines), identify which legal authority has jurisdiction over what data. Classify all data based on its importance to your operations.

Implement a granular data backup strategy

Create a data backup strategy that covers all data in all environments. Fine-tune it to reflect the specific characteristics of each data category and each environment as much as possible. In particular, be sure that your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) accurately reflect the priority of each data category.

Establish failover mechanisms

Develop failover mechanisms to enable seamless transitions between real-world and cloud resources during a disaster. Utilize technologies like load balancing and virtualization to reroute traffic and maintain operational continuity.

Integrate continuous monitoring and automation

Implement continuous monitoring tools to detect anomalies in both real-world and cloud environments. Utilize automation to trigger rapid responses and initiate failover mechanisms, reducing manual intervention and enhancing recovery speed.

Deploy rapid recovery techniques

Explore rapid recovery techniques, such as leveraging cloud-based backups, snapshot technologies, and parallel processing. These approaches minimize downtime and expedite the recovery of critical systems and applications.

Establish communication plans

Develop well-defined communication plans to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders during a disaster. Ensure clear communication channels between different in-house teams (e.g. real-world and cloud), third-party service providers, and key decision-makers.

Collaborate with service providers

Establish collaboration frameworks with third-party service providers and cloud vendors. Define roles, responsibilities, and expectations to ensure a coordinated effort in implementing disaster recovery measures across the hybrid IT environment.

Regularly test and simulate disaster scenarios

Conduct regular testing and simulation exercises to validate the effectiveness of the disaster recovery plan in a hybrid IT environment. In particular, make sure to test your ability to recover data from your backups in all circumstances. Identify weaknesses and areas for improvement to ensure the plan remains robust and up-to-date.

Regularly review and update disaster recovery plans

Implement a continuous improvement cycle by regularly reviewing and updating disaster recovery plans. Adapt the framework to accommodate changes in technology, infrastructure, or business processes, ensuring ongoing resilience in the face of evolving threats and challenges.


Related Resources:

Managed DRaaS: Deciding if it’s the Right Solution for Your Business

DRaaS Pricing: Understanding Costs and Factors

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