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19/08/2011
Reading the Riot Act - Civil unrest highlights the need for effective DR

Few could of predicted the scale of the riots and the damage caused to UK businesses. Many of the companies targeted are thankful for their DR plans and systems whilst others are now looking to invest further into DR thus offering an opportunity for the channel.​

James Carnie, one of the founders and sales director of eLINIA recently spoke to CRN about the need for effective Disaster Recovery. He added that one of their clients in fact did lose a site in the London riots. However, its IT - replicated securely offsite - was unaffected.

“For our customers, we replicate data at two or more datacentres that are 50 miles apart, and provide failover services,”. The approach taken is to work out in detail what sort of DR, with what scale and scope, will work best for each customer. James explains that eLINIA works out the customer’s recovery point objective and recovery time objective, and moves forward from that point.

Only a few customers really need around-the-clock up-time, so most need to work out exactly what would represent a cost-effective DR solution for them. Availability 99.9 per cent of the time is often sufficient. “We ask, ‘how much data are you willing to lose, and how long can the business survive with such-and-such a system down?’ Some data must be replicated synchronously, and systems might always need to be up. That would probably be a premium service,”.

He adds that accreditation, including ISO 27,0001 and PCI/DSS compliance, is important for providers. James concludes that the time may therefore be ripe for the channel to encourage more customers to invest in DR, and anecdotal evidence suggests that customers are finally becoming keener. “With cloud and virtualisation, you can have a cut-down platform, to replicate perhaps the data that needs to be replicated in real time to datacentre two,”

“And outsourcing - which can be quite an emotive subject for the IT department - for some reason the DR part of that is never a problem.”