Effective Recovery Automation - A Quick Guide to Succeed

....But First: Our Industry is Guilty of Over Promising

DRaaS is a much overused word these days. At face value it sounds like a vendor has taken all that pain away and is delivering a complete disaster recovery (DR) service back to the business.  They have plugged an appliance in to the estate and it's all sorted. Right?

Nothing could be further from the truth for a mature mid sized business with complex, legacy IT, formed of physical and virtual/cloud elements.

What you have is - no service at all, just a part solution that recovers the easy and straight forward applications. You are still left to do the difficult parts and if they are the dependencies on which your new or easy apps rely on, then your have no recovery at all.

What's the Answer?

Well at first glance, it looks like it's down to you to create a solution made up of several products... or is it?

I'm not going to pretend I know every solution on the market today. But, from what I do know, I haven't yet seen a product that can automate recovery for an entire mid-sized business with complex IT. Whenever Sungard AS tests a new recovery silver bullet technology from a vendor, it falls short of expectations or there are significant limitations.

Currently a true DRaaS service will automate recovery for the physical and virtual IT but will require the efforts of skilled people to understand your business and recovery outcomes that you need and build a programmable solution delivered as a service over a lifecycle management model.

Essential Components of DRaaS 

Discovery Tool: To discover the full extent of your IT estate, sniffing out the known and more often than not, the shadow IT that found its way onto your estate. It will also log all the IT dependencies between assets, applications data bases, etc. It will also update and log the ongoing production IT changes that must be reflected in the recovery environment. This means your recovery scripts will be accurate and fit for purpose. After all you can't protect and recover what you don't know about.

Recovery Execution Tool: Automation will also reserve, allocate and execute the workflow to build recovery IT assets at time of test and disaster in super fast time and eliminate many of the human errors that often occur during a manual build, building recovery IT the way they think it should be built and not according to up to date recovery scripts.

Only Skilled People Can Automate Recovery

Automation can be badly done. Program rubbish in - get rubbish out.  Unless you have the right skill sets to interpret business objectives and availability requirements into actionable automation processes all you are going to achieve is speed up the time to failure. So this requires people who do this day in, day out and are familiar with the process. 

To prove my point, I use my appraisal application twice per year. Compared with other apps that I use on a more frequent basis, I dislike using it because I'm going spend the first half an hour making very hard work of using it. It's not familiar to me.

I'm having to remind myself how to use it and get used to updated and changed functions. I'll make a dozen errors and I will rework many of the entries. And then I will curse the loss of a wasted two hours of my life that I will never get back.  There is nothing wrong with the application. It's me and my memory weakness. Every year I have to go through the learning process and this takes time. 

When it comes to real life DR events, you don't have the luxury of time to remind yourself how to learn DR applications or processes once per year. After 30 minutes, Twitter and co. are sharing a wide variety of insults in great volume about your brand and customer service and your share price is descending faster than an out of control office elevator.

Sungard AS Recovery Automation Tools

Would you be surprised to know Sungard AS has this automation technology on hand and at your disposal? Well it's true and we have the people to understand your business and apply the right technologies to provide you with a complete DRaaS service. You can take as little or as much as you like and we offer Service Level Agreements too.