Tolerance for down time is at an all time low, irrespective of whether your computing infrastructure is built on a Cloud backup or a local backup or any other kind of hybrid architecture. It is immaterial whether the downtime is planned or accidental. Customers react consistently. If your website is offline for a few minutes or your Cloud backup server is experiencing temporary glitches, you can be sure, some of your customers will move on to a rival website for their needs. If you are a government body and there is a delay in service delivery due to server outage, the citizens will be vociferous in their criticism of services rendered. Continuous availability with business resiliency is the key to success.
But, continuous availability business services, comes with unavoidable risks such as business complexity and technology dependency. The one to one relationship between a business process and IT no longer exists. IT is a composite of multiple technologies and interdependent IT applications (which may include Cloud backup servers, local backup servers, virtual servers and a host of similar technologies meshed together). The relationship is one-to-many or many-to-many. The business processes use multiple applications and services and most of these applications are categorized as mission-critical and essential. The concept of continuous protection of these services naturally expands from protection of IT systems and applications to include the protection of business critical processes.
It follows, in context, that even planned or unplanned outages of IT systems can be a loss making proposition. Application upgrades and other maintenance activities may have to be taken up on the fly as technology dependent business processes, no longer permit any kind of fallback to manual systems and customer / supplier accessibility to enterprise systems are as important as employee accessibility to business critical systems. As a result, manual processes are constantly being replaced with automated processes for functional ease and a failure of IT services can bring the business to a standstill. Maintenance and upgrade windows are pre-configured to kick start and complete on the fly. Continuous availability architectures are designed such that the individual components and sites continue to operate on alternate links even when the primary links are disrupted. The organization is constantly alert for disaster and disaster is handled automatically, efficiently and seamlessly. Business resiliency is guaranteed.
It is no wonder that Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) are top priorities in most technology driven organizations.