Why High Availability Solutions Shouldn’t Replace Disaster Recovery Planning

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These days the cloud is no longer a no-go for critical infrastructure. In a survey conducted by Infosys last year, 81 percent of respondents said they were already or were planning to use mission-critical apps in the cloud within the next two years.

With many cloud environments featuring capabilities for high availability, which by definition provide 99.999 percent uptime, how does that affect disaster recovery (DR) planning? If you manage all your applications in a third-party cloud environment with high availability built into the apps’ architecture, does that mean you can nix internal DR plans, procedures and tests?

The answer is no, and here are three reasons why.

You Need a Plan for Handling Data Corruption


DR planning is still a key component of the organization’s overall business continuity strategy. It’s important to have a high availability strategy for your critical systems and information, but if your high availability solution replicates errors, your data — while it might be available — would be useless. In that case, you’d need to fall back on your DR plan to recover that system.

Your Employees and Vendors Need a Plan to Follow


Even if you’ve outsourced management of critical applications, your employees still need to know what will transpire in the event of a power outage, facility loss or other incident. For instance, where will they work? How will they access the data and applications that are necessary to their job duties?

Your Cloud Provider Needs to Understand Your Environment


If you’re using a third party to manage your environment, it’s important to test so the vendor understands your environment. With documented and rehearsed DR plans, the vendor will be familiar with how to react during a business interruption and can do more on your behalf.

Although high availability is a key part of protecting your top-priority applications, it shouldn’t replace DR planning. To see what other components you should include in your DR plan, download our checklist.