Tomer Schwaitzer, CEO, Y-tech
The effectiveness of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in the cloud is heavily based on the quality of the DRP (Disaster Recovery Plan) solution that your cloud computing customer will adopt.
Similar to many other consulting and selling processes, the key is to ensure that your customer is presented with the right questions.
To handle this challenge, Y-tech has identified 3 questions that are sometimes forgotten in the process of selecting the right DRP solution. Intelligent answers to these questions will help your cloud computing customer get into the right path in regard to DRP:
1. Am I getting the exact DRP I need?
A common mistake of customers is to draw a large number of disaster scenarios, both realistic and not realistic, and try to be covered to each one of them. Instead, you should help your customer to delineate scenarios that are closer to reality and understand how each disaster scenario should be dealt with. Not less important, you should clarify to him how much the response to each scenario costs.
Specifically, your customer should ask himself: What will happen when my main site falls? How long can I wait until it's up and running again? Do I want all the functions to work, and if not – what are the critical functions that must work all the time?
2. Do I get a proper SLA?
Your customer should make sure that he gets the necessary SLA (Service Level Agreement). Having a proper SLA in place is critical for effective business continuity and disaster recovery. SLA is very measurable and must include exact parameters such as the level of uptime, the response time of the vendor and the quality in which customer requests are handled.
If you base the cloud computing solutions you sell on a respected cloud computing vendor, that vendor can ensure an SLA that will back you up and you will be able to have the same commitments to your customer. Cloud SLA of a respected and high quality cloud provider will be much higher than most of on-premise scenarios that customers can achieve. Low quality cloud providers will not have a defined and clear SLA.
The message is clear: if you're selling cloud computing solutions and you'd like to use the tool of BCP and DRP, make sure that you offer a high quality SLA.
3. Do the backup, replication and retrieval solutions cover all my critical needs?
It is not a coincidence that many IT professionals stress the importance of backup, replication and retrieval. Your cloud customer should be convinced that all his important data are backed up, no matter where the data is located, and most important can be restored (Yeah… don't mistake the "Successful Backup" email with a "Successful Restore" procedure, you will probably face a very surprising situation down the road). The customer should be able to choose the right backup solution among several options and he should be able to see for his own eyes how the backup procedure works and even restore basic data without your help.
As with SLA, you should make sure that all backup needs of your customer are met.
DRP and BCP is not all about replicating your workloads to another geographic location and having a "red judgement day button" that will move everything to the other side of the world. Most of the logical scenarios that you will meet on a daily basis does not include complete destruction and nuclear wars. You should make sure you give your customer the most optimal DRP/BCP solutions that will be cost effective and above all give the customer, down to earth, what he will mostly need.
Tomer Schwaitzer is the CEO and Founder of Y-tech