Benefits and Drawbacks of Automated Disaster Recovery

Benefits and Drawbacks of Automated Disaster Recovery
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Disaster Recovery (DR) is not a matter of choice but must be a necessity for every firm. Even a minute of downtime can result in the loss of millions of dollars. Negative outcomes like this are easily preventable through DR.

While traditional DR methods have existed since the 1970s, inculcating cloud computing to enhance its power is a recent phenomenon. Through automated cloud computing, ensuring business continuity with minimized downtimes becomes a possibility. But are there only advantages to this? What are some of the disadvantages of DR automation?

These are the main benefits with some major drawbacks of DR Automation.

This blog explores the primary benefits associated with incorporating an automated DR system while highlighting the negatives as well.

Advantages of DR Automation

Reduced Human Errors and Increased Efficiency

Traditional DR methods are labor intensive and are prone to human errors. With every second of downtime leading to increased cost, automating DR can greatly improve the efficiency and speed of the recovery process.

Easily Scalable

Cloud computing operates on a pay-as-you-go model. That means resources provided by vendors are based on your requirements and determine the cost accordingly. Traditional DR methods can only be scaled through expensive upgrades in software and hardware.

Pre and Post Automated DR Analysis

Through automation, entire systems can be analyzed for potential weaknesses and modified or rectified before the occurrence of an actual disaster. Even post recovery, there can be a detailed analysis of the performance according to prespecified indicators can be measured.

IT teams can examine data like Recovery Time Actuals (RTAs) or other metrics to set realistic DR goals. Along with this, regular maintenance and upgradation (according to needs) can be conducted.

Optimized Costs

Overall, there are many factors of automating DR systems that contribute to cost efficiency. Firstly, because of the reduced need of manual labor there are lower downtime costs.

Secondly, cloud service providers operate on a subscription model in which purchases are based on requirement and scaling the cloud does not require any intervention to physical infrastructure.

Finally, certain industries that are critical to society such as healthcare or finance might have mandated DR laws and strategies. Ensuring compliance by having a solid DR through automation reduces the chances of receiving any avoidable fines.

Disadvantages of DR Automation

Initial Complexity and Cost

Inculcating any new technology into the business landscape comes with two major (initial) setbacks: the complexity and the cost. Legacy systems are a large part of the IT infrastructure in many industries. Introducing new technologies to a heterogeneous environment requires major efforts coupled with on-time and regular maintenance of existing systems.

While there is a reduction in physical infrastructure, initial purchasing of software licenses and basic hardware might be expensive. These systems will require personnel with expertise in maintenance. Even with service providers, the fluctuating costs can cause a dent in the budget.

Other Challenges

Apart from the main drawbacks, other challenges that come about by automating DR are over-reliance on third party service providers which can limit visibility of your data. Another major one is the possibility of random internet outages which can aggravate the situation during an emergency.

Final Thoughts

Automation through cloud computing is the next step in upgrading the DR system of firms. It presents many benefits like optimized costs through reduced human error and increased efficiency coupled with better data analysis. There are drawbacks that are disincentivizing, but firms must swallow the bitter pill and inculcate it into their business strategy.