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Without a disaster recovery plan, your customers’ businesses could suffer irreparable damage. Worse yet, they could go out of business. Learn about the difference between data replication and disaster recovery and how you can easily start the business continuity conversation with customers.
Data replication means that your customer possesses more than one copy of their strategic data in different locations. In the event of a corrupt file or malware, your customer has a copy to fall back on to keep their business going. According to Nick Vermiglio and Bernie Franczak, Ingram Micro technology consultants, the 3-2-1 data replication standard consists of:
- 3 copies of your data: One copy is your live copy. The second copy is located onsite for easy file restoration. And a third copy is located offsite in the event of an onsite catastrophe.
- 2 different storage types: Primary storage can be an internal hard drive, while secondary storage can be an external storage device or the cloud.
- 1 copy located remotely from the source: Enterprises will replicate data between data centers in other locations to get business resumption through the secondary site.
Disaster recovery is focused on protecting a business from a significant event so it can maintain or quickly resume critical operations. A customer’s disaster recovery plan depends on how much downtime they’ll accept. For example, one industry may find two to three minutes as acceptable, whereas a corner store could accept being out for a day. So, build the disaster recovery plan around the impact on the business with the following factors in mind:
- Recovery point objective (RPO): Work with your customer to understand how much pain they can accept in the event of a catastrophe, be it a broken water main or major disaster. And find out how much data their company can lose and still function and keep their doors open. The RPO gives system designers a limit to work toward.
- Recovery time objective (RTO): Determine how much time your customer would require to get back to being fully operational. For some businesses, the need is immediate. For others, the need can range from several days to a month. The RTO helps system designers determine a duration in which to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in business continuity.
Making the disaster recovery plan
By applying the principles of data replication to your disaster recovery plan, you set the foundation for your customer’s business continuity efforts. Once the following steps are completed, your customer’s disaster recovery plan serves as a blueprint to reestablish operations.
- Technology replication: Start with technology replication, which includes data and all other critical aspects of the data center. Think about what will be needed in the event of a disaster.
- Documented procedures: Document the procedures needed to keep your customer’s business operational. Take into account the technologies and physical assets they have, as well as the people and processes that make up their business.
Start the conversation by getting personal
To get the data replication and disaster recovery conversation started, make it personal. Franczak suggests asking your customer about the photos on their smartphone. What would they do if they didn’t back up their personal photos and lost their phone? Then, connect the conversation to their business and ask how they plan to protect their data in the event of a disaster. From there, propose an assessment to size up the current state of their environment, make immediate recommendations and propose data replication and disaster recovery solutions that best fit their needs.
Want to hear more?
Take a deeper dive into the conversation with our full-length podcast interview with Nick Vermiglio and Bernie Franczak.