Hot trends in business continuity and disaster recovery technologies

As companies look to do more while consuming fewer resources, disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) technologies provide more important protection against business disruption. Here's a look at five hot DR/BC technology trends in 2009.

As the grip of the current economic squeeze tightens, and companies look to get more done while consuming fewer

resources, disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity technologies provide more important protection against business interruption or outright disruption. To that end, various technologies will be brought into play ever more proactively and decisively. Here's a look at five hot business continuity and disaster recovery trends in 2009.

Increasing use of virtualization for disaster recovery/business continuity

With ever-increasing server consolidation and proliferation of virtual servers, new uses of this technology keep popping up. Consider physical-to-virtual (P2V) server restoration via image instantiation on a virtual server, followed by restoration of current data and services snapshots as an important alternative to (if not replacement for) physical server restoration as part of a DR implementation. Also consider the enhanced flexibility of being able to restore virtual server images just about anywhere, at any time.

Extending reach of data backup and recovery to mobile users

With increasing proliferation of mobile productivity platforms, such as laptop or notebook PCs, PDAs and smartphones, business continuity/disaster recovery must address how to snapshot and restore those crucial tools and the data they carry as part of a return to "business as usual." This creates demands for all kinds of interesting backup, restore and snapshotting mechanisms to

Increased use of disk-based solutions

With the astonishing volumes of data being acquired, stored and manipulated both inside and outside the data center, disk-based backup solutions have become the rule rather than the exception -- even in the SMB space. Whether companies and organizations deploy such technologies for themselves, or hire others to deploy them on their behalf while using them as a service, disk-based backup and restore technologies will rule the business continuity/disaster recovery landscape in 2009.

More dependence on business continuity/disaster recovery services

Leave the costs aside for a moment, and consider the incredible advantages of disaster recovery and business continuity services with online or Internet-based backup, including:

  • Automatic offsite storage
  • Safe data situations (through careful selection of where business continuity/disaster recovery providers actually house backup images and information)
  • Enhanced use of automation
  • Simplified, direct access to DR and BC services on demand, including various levels of siting and service delivery

When combined, this makes the services that business continuity/disaster recovery providers deliver increasingly attractive and important as business partners to savvy corporations and organizations worldwide. This dependence can only increase over time, because the opportunity costs of forgoing such partnering outweighs the recurring costs of maintaining such partnerships.

More geographically dispersed distributed/clustered services and applications

With increasing and more innovative uses for server mirroring, clustering and distributed operation across considerable distances, the lines between the companies and organizations that acquire business continuity/disaster recovery services, and the companies and organizations that provide those services, continue to become increasingly blurred. Consider the implications of hot server standbys at a service provider's site.

In the end, what 2009 appears to promise that companies and organizations of all sizes will do more to cover their business continuity and disaster recovery risks (or needs, if you prefer to look at such things as eventual rather than probably) by working with technology, both on their own and in concert with services providers. It also appears that increasing capabilities from key technologies such as virtualization, automation and online data backup and recovery can only accelerate investments in this area as companies seek to protect and preserve critical sources of revenue.

About this author: Ed Tittel writes regularly for numerous TechTarget Web sites on networking, IT security and developer topics. His most recent books are "Windows 2008 Server for Dummies" and the "CISSP Study Guide, 4e."

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This was first published in January 2009

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