When it comes to business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) solutions, there’s no such thing as playing it too safe. Guaranteeing uptime, continued service delivery and data protection is critical to any business – from the largest of enterprises to the smallest of SMBs.
Efficient BC/DR plans are the pillars of many businesses’ success in facing obstacles, as they provide a tactical road map for responding to disasters. With detailed planning in place, companies ensure that they can operate smoothly after such a setback, avoiding the monetary losses, OPEX headaches, or damaged reputations that can result from disrupted uptime.
While nearly 75 percent of all companies – from large enterprises to SMBs – have a business continuity plan in place, the numbers drop when looking only at SMBs. Specifically, 57 percent of SMBs have no disaster recovery plan laid out. This means that in the event of a network outage, data loss or other IT disaster, these companies may be left improvising how to handle the fallout.
And the cost of fallout is exorbitant. Specifically, when it comes to small-sized businesses, the average cost of downtime is considerable, at about $12,500 a day, according to a 2011 Symantec SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey. Moreover, medium-sized businesses can lose an average of $3,000 a day due to downtime. Factor in the potential reputation damage, and the threat of downtime becomes even more imposing.
SMBs that implement disaster recovery plans stay one step ahead at all times. With cost-efficiency remaining essential, the first step to being prepared is to enlist the services of a cloud-based hosting company. Cloud computing places the company’s data on remotely located servers that are connected to the company’s network. There are multiple benefits afforded as a result: cost-effective resource use, scalability and rapid provisioning.
Some of the principal benefits afforded by cloud computing providers include the following:
- On-demand scalability: Allow your business to scale instantly by turning services on and off exactly when your business needs it. Buy only what you need to get started, and worry about expanding your computing power later.
- Cost savings: The consumption-based pricing model often found in cloud computing helps those dealing with tight purse strings.
- Fully customizable: Whether you are looking for load balancing, images or snapshots, your cloud computing provider can provide you with a customized solution, designed to address your specific needs.
While the benefits of cloud hosting seem obvious, SMB decision-makers still often exhibit a degree of trepidation about making the jump to the cloud. Many SMBs are concerned about expenses; specifically, eWeek states that 85 percent of SMBs are worried about the cost associated with ensuring uptime. Eighty percent also grapple with perceived complexity issues.
But cloud hosting, by design, offers a more affordable business continuity and disaster recovery solution than traditional BC/DR methods.
Last year at Hostway, we introduced our virtual machine (VM) replication service into beta. This service allows companies, as well as large enterprises, to leverage our affordable public or private cloud infrastructures to establish a real-time, compliance-quality, reliable recovery solution. Enabled by the Hyper-V Replica included in the newly released Windows Server 2012 operating system, the replication service allows for seamless and affordable cross-site and site-to-site VM replication to support both planned and unplanned failover resolution. This product will move to full production near the end of 2013.
To learn more about affordable disaster recovery solutions or to join the beta test group, click here.