In addition to demonstrating the value of DR, you must go a step further and express why traditional methods of DR and data protection no longer work. Companies may not want to implement newer technologies such as data replication, snapshots or automated DR systems, but the technologies of yesteryear cannot handle today's complex virtual and physical IT infrastructures and growing data stores.
As the trusted channel partner, you can show how an automated DR system can bring a server back online within minutes versus the hours required for an IT person to take numerous steps and system reboots to get the equipment back online. Automated DR takes all the time-consuming data services recovery steps and automates them so that they can be activated with a single click of the mouse. Automated DR allows you to expand your DR offerings to new and existing customers. The best method of showcasing the value of a DR plan and system is through yearly, if not quarterly, tests of the DR plan. Channel partners should work with customers after hours or over a weekend to run a simulated IT system crash and test the ability of the DR system to get up and running. Customers will see first-hand why DR is critical to business continuity.
One of the clear lessons companies learned from recent storms is that data and other information saved to an offsite DR location must be geographically dispersed. For instance, many companies in New York thought they were safe because they outlined their DR plans and had copies of everything stored with a service provider in New Jersey. Yet, Hurricane Sandy demonstrated that redundancy and disbursement of many miles between various data centers is critical to the success of the DR plan.
We already know that redundancy and an extended network is ideal, but this knowledge again must be passed to the client. Not only must a copy of the data and applications be kept onsite for a quick restore for an IT issue, but copies of the latest data and services must also be replicated to an offsite location many miles away from the original data center so if one site is inoperable, the backup site continues to operate.
Channel partners, such as yourselves, can combine the lessons learned from the recent natural storms with the industry information on downtime to present a compelling outline as to why customers need DR. In recommending automated DR and geographically dispersed data stores, you can be seen as the hero of the data center by your customers in ensuring that companies are fully protected whether there is an issue from a natural event or human error.
Ralph Wynn, senior product marketing manager for FalconStor Software, is a storage professional with more than 14 years of experience in product management, marketing, support and deployment. Prior to joining FalconStor, Ralph worked at Bocada, Syncsort and Symantec.
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