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PHD Virtual 2014 Predictions - Organizations with Virtual and Cloud Environments Get Serious About Improving Disaster Recovery Preparedness

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Steve Kahan, Chief Marketing Officer, PHD Virtual

Organizations with Virtual and Cloud Environments Get Serious About Improving Disaster Recovery Preparedness

Recently a group of executives, including myself, formed a new council whose aim is to increase disaster recovery preparedness and improve disaster recovery practices. The idea is to study current DR practices and develop DR standards and best practices for the industry to follow. Our initial research surprised us.

Initial results from the Disaster Recovery Preparedness online benchmark survey show the dismal state of DR preparedness of companies worldwide. Using a common grading system from A (the best) to F (the worst), 72% of survey participants, or nearly 3 out of 4 companies worldwide, are failing in terms of disaster readiness scoring ratings of either a D or F grade.  (You can take the test yourself at

In addition, one-third lost critical Apps for hours. 11% of the companies lost critical apps for days. The impact of this downtime is huge because the cost of losing critical applications has been estimated by various experts at $5,000 per minute. Believe it or not, 60% of those who took the survey do not a have a fully documented DR plan. For those that have disaster recovery plans, the majority rarely, if ever, test their plans. 50% of respondents test DR plans only once or twice a year. 13% never test their DR Plans. Without testing and verification of DR plans, most companies really have no idea as to whether they can fully recover their IT systems in the event of a disaster or extended outage.

The question is not if a disaster or outage could happen, but when it will occur and how prepared organizations are for that scenario. That's why the council members and I believe that 2014 will be the year companies get serious about disaster recovery preparedness.  We believe there are three important steps companies need to take in 2014:

Build a DR plan for everything you need to recover

There are many items that IT professionals must recover. Companies need to protect their data, files, folders, emails, etc. They also need to recover applications, business services or even their entire site in the event of an outage or disaster.

Define Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) & Recovery Point objectives (RPO) for critical applications

RTOs are all about defining how quickly you need to recover. This describes the amount of downtime that is tolerable in the event of an outage or disaster. RPOs describe the amount of data your willing to risk in an outage or disaster. Companies need to define RTOs and RPOs for critical applications

Frequently test critical applications to validate they will recover within RTOs/RPOs

Companies need to position themselves to immediately become aware when the recovery time or recovery point actuals do not fall within the objectives. For DR preparedness to improve, companies must automate these processes to overcome the high cost in time and money of verifying and testing their DR plans.

If companies take these 3 steps in 2014, we believe they will have taken significant steps forward ensuring business continuity no matter what the scenario.


About the Author

Steve Kahan serves as chief marketing officer for PHD Virtual. In this role, Steve is responsible for global campaign marketing, product management, partner marketing, branding and marketing communications as well as public and analyst relations.

Steve has over twenty-five years of experience building high energy, high commitment organizations that produce breakthrough revenue growth. Prior to PHD Virtual, Steve most recently was Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Quest Software. Prior to that role, Steve served as Vice President of Marketing at The Planet (acquired by Softlayer), Bindview (acquired by Symantec), Postini (acquired by Google), PentaSafe (acquired by NetIQ) and was President and CEO of eSecurity  (acquired by Novell).

Steve holds a B.S. in Communications from Illinois State University.
Published Wednesday, November 06, 2013 6:28 AM by David Marshall
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