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Focus more on disaster recovery strategy in 2019

Evolving disaster recovery technologies have eased some of the common DR burdens over the past year, but strategic areas such as funding and security could use some more attention.

The world of disaster recovery has experienced some interesting changes over the last few years. The shift to the cloud has opened the doors to both using it for DR in innovative ways, as well as adding itself to the list of stuff that needs to be protected. But in many ways, disaster recovery strategy has not matured: Organizations still haven't completed risk analyses, don't have tested DR plans and can't keep up with the ever-expanding amount of data IT is responsible to protect.

So, as we step into 2019, here are some of my predictions of what you need to watch for in terms of disaster recovery strategy in the coming year:

  1. Security as a DR influencer: Disaster recovery normally concerns itself with disasters revolving around loss of data, applications, systems and locations. But more organizations are starting to get the DR and security teams communicating. Compliance requirements, malware attacks and external attacks involving lateral movement within your network require that IT have an ability to properly recover the environment back to a known-good secure state. Security teams need to begin pressing those in charge of disaster recovery strategy to ensure the recovery of specific endpoints, data, applications and directories align with their appropriate criticality and needed recovery objectives.
  2. Little shift in funding: With over half of organizations not expecting increases in funding for business continuity initiatives in the next 12 months, but clearly aware of the risk of cyberattacks , 2019 probably won't be the year DR gets a bump in budget. Organizations need to find ways to more efficiently use the existing environment or look to the cloud for ways to offer additional cost-effective services to the organization.
  3. Secondary and tertiary cloud storage will become an integral part of disaster recovery strategy: Nearly every major cloud storage vendor has a "hot/warm/cold" set of storage offerings. But most organizations still think of DR in terms of "either I need the data now or I don't." As the focus on DR increases, so will the scrutiny on the cost, causing organizations to look at the use of warm and cold storage offerings, based on recovery objectives. For those not using the cloud, the use of SSD for primary backup storage and traditional spinning disk for secondary is equally appropriate to find ways to lessen the cost of storage while still meeting needed recovery timeframes for given data sets.
  4. An increase in the protecting of cloud-based applications: We've enjoyed the cloud for over a decade, with organizations placing major parts of their operations into cloud-based platforms such as Salesforce and Office 365. But with the focus on DR and a constant ability to recover every part of a business, organizations are coming to the realization that despite cloud vendor service availability the data is still the organization's responsibility. This translates to organizations looking for ways to protect their cloud-based data using third-party cloud backup vendors .
2019 probably won't be the year DR gets a bump in budget.

Some projections for disaster recovery strategy in 2019 are based on shifts in using DR, while others are based on evolving DR capabilities -- and some are based on both ideas. Regardless, from both a cost and outcome perspective, it's evident that you need to be smart about how your organization handles DR. In 2019, organizations will need to protect increasing amounts of data to avoid disaster -- and somehow do so with no increase in budget.

While not the best news, finding this out now does give you the opportunity to prepare. So, begin thinking about what you have in place, where and how it can expand or where using newer technology may improve service delivery of DR into 2019.

This was last published in December 2018

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