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The challenges of DIY IT disaster recovery

Acronis
|Mar 1|magazine10 min read

Many organisations attempt to implement their own disaster recovery and business continuity solutions by purchasing additional hardware, or installing it in a branch office or colocation facility.

This approach can be useful in some ways but it’s vital to be aware of the potential issues with taking this ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) approach. 

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“The DIY strategy is likely to help when service is interrupted by power failure or user error,” said Steve Goh, Vice President/GM of Sales for Asia-Pacific & Emerging Markets, Acronis. “However, this approach rarely delivers the most efficient disaster recovery with the greatest amount of coverage for the organisation’s investment dollar.” 

Acronis has identified four key shortcomings of DIY IT disaster recovery: 

1. Limitations of SAN-to-SAN replication 
Most storage area network (SAN) solutions have some form of SAN-to-SAN replication. This capability alone is a far cry from the functionality of a comprehensive disaster recovery system, which can address all of the architectural considerations for replicating data between production environments and disaster recovery environments. 

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2. Hardware and software drift 
No matter the mix of hardware and software in a DIY disaster recovery implementation, it needs to be up to date to ensure continued performance. Many DIY systems combine a lot of independent elements that need to be managed separately, increasing the complexity of keeping everything working, and heightening the chances of hardware and software ‘drift’. 

3. Failed Disaster Recovery (DR) exercises 
Once the hardware and software needed for a DIY disaster recovery platform has been purchased and implemented, it needs to be tested. The DR exercises needed to get everything operating optimally can add to the overall cost of the system. Each time a disaster recovery exercise fails, it raises the overall cost of a DIY approach. 

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4. Understanding the resources and skill-set required 
Disaster recovery requires a multi-disciplinary skill-set with deep expertise in storage, operating systems, hypervisors, infrastructure, and more. Not all organisations have the resources to have these skills and knowledge internally. Attempting a DIY disaster recovery strategy without the required mix of skills can cause problems further down the track. 

“The hurdles of successfully implementing a DIY disaster recovery solution are substantial,” said Goh. “You can avoid them by shopping around for externally-managed all-in-one solutions.

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“There are many reliable and powerful cloud-based solutions that make it possible to get an all-in-one backup and disaster recovery solution for less than the total cost of ownership of a DIY solution.” 

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