There are many buzz words going around in disaster recovery – Virtual DR, DRaaS (Disaster recovery as a service), warm standby, failover, RTO and RPO…….it’s easy to see why people can get confused. But what really are the latest and best disaster recovery technological advancements? Here are out top 5:

1. Pre-recovery. There are some disaster recovery solutions which “Pre-recover” your IT system. The traditional method (and still the most common way) of disaster recovery is to copy your data and store it, waiting until your have an IT disaster until the recovery process is started. The cloud and automation has allowed recovery to take place in advance, so every night your whole IT system is copied, and rebuilt on a virtual platform. The benefit of this is that your recovery time is minimised to the time it takes to boot up your systems (just a few minutes), and your employees can be productive again straight away.

2. Automation. The use of automation for recovery methods like Pre-recovery has enabled costs to be reduced. The equivalent solution to warm standby is now available at a fraction of the cost, so becomes affordable to SME’s.

3. DRaaS. With companies now relying more and more on their IT systems, they are wisening up to the importance of disaster recovery. And with 19% of recoveries failing* it’s not surprising that companies want to give it to a specialist to ensure that they are minimising their risk. Even VMware has recently launched its own DRaaS service to capitalize on the increasing demand. Outsourcing disaster recovery means it doesn’t have to be your problem anymore; recovery is just a simple phone call away.

4. Instant Failover without upfront costs. If you need zero downtime then you have no option but to go for a solution which offers continuous replication and instant failover. This can now be done on a monthly subscription basis, reducing the large upfront cost of doing this in-house.

5. Cloud. The use of cloud technology enables all of the above advancements to take place at a lower cost. This means better technology is within grasp of SME’s whereas it was previously only the larger and enterprise businesses that could afford to minimise their risk of IT downtime.

By Beth Baxter