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5 Pitfalls of a Traditional Business Continuity Plan

Skyline Technologies  |  
Mar 26, 2019
To get a clear view of where the cloud fits into your business continuity plan, it's helpful to examine the pitfalls of a traditional plan.

1. Cost

Business continuity can be extremely costly when taking the traditional approach. You're buying two of everything for production environments – even in a cold site because, when the servers are hydrated, they need a place to run. For instance, we have a customer who has a traditional cold site. Anytime their virtual infrastructure needs to grow by an additional host, they have to buy two servers (two virtual hosts): one that gets placed in the primary and one that gets placed in the secondary. If a business unit says they need a physical SQL server for a new application, the IT team corrects them by saying they actually need two: one for primary and one for secondary. It could be extremely costly when it comes to implementing a business continuity plan when we're taking that traditional physical cold site (or even hot site) approach.

2. Treating all systems equally

The traditional mindset is to treat all systems equally because “we've already paid for the system”. The challenge is that not all systems are the same. Not all data needs to be replicated at the same interval. Businesses are then creating infrastructure to perform this replication and to cover software licensing when that's not really needed. Your business relies on certain systems, but critical business operations typically don't rely on every system you have running. Properly classifying production systems can significantly impact our business continuity plan and cost.

3. Multiple contracts

We have to manage multiple contracts. We’ve got hardware vendors, our co-host, our building leases, communication, and powered contracts. If we’re in a further-away location or out-of-state, we're probably looking at a different telecommunications carrier, different data carrier, and other contracts to manage when it comes to that traditional cold or hot site.

4. Hardware dependencies

Depending on what type of solution we are using, cold site or hot site, we still have our hardware dependencies. We have to make sure that, whatever our hardware is at our primary site, we're replicating that hardware in our secondary site so everything comes online as we are failing over to our secondary site.

5. Time to implementation

If we do not have a disaster recovery site or business continuity site today, what would it look like and how much time will it take to implement a system? How long will it take to get our contracts, purchase the hardware, find the proper location and set up our racking? Due to the amount of time these projects tend to take, they often end up at the bottom of our project list –not because we feel that business continuity is a waste of time (we all know how important it is), but because our teams have a finite amount of time to provide value to our organizations. The project load for most organizations is so large that business continuity typically turns into technical debt rather than being a priority.

What's the new point of view?

Let's look at how the cloud can be utilized in the business continuity plan and how some of the traditional pitfalls can be alleviated. In next week’s blog, we will be focusing on Azure solutions and how they can satisfy your business continuity needs.

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