How Availability Has Evolved

Posted by Maura Mahoney on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 09:51 AM

ITavailability.jpgIn today’s always-on culture, companies need high levels of availability to stay competitive. Prospects use mobile devices to research products and make purchasing decisions on the go. Customers want to be able to contact your business any time they need information, support, or services.

Organizations that experience unscheduled and lengthy periods of downtime risk losing customers to their rivals. Availability solutions have been undergoing a transformation to conquer the challenges presented by increased demand for access. New availability strategies track backups and anticipate possible interruptions to avoid downtime. They also allow for quicker recovery with less risk of data loss when an outage is unavoidable.

The Current State of Availability

As expecations become more demanding, companies are becoming aware of protection gaps. A 2017 ESG study found that a troubling 82% of CIOs report they are unable to meet the demands of the always-on culture. Customers and users demand 99.999% availability, but IT systems can’t always deliver.

The negative effects of this gap are significant. Downtime costs companies an average of $21.8 million annually. Interruptions in production and application performance decrease your profitability. Customers can’t make purchases, you can’t fill your supply chain, and employees sit idle while on the clock.

Losses to businesses aren’t just monetary. Veeam, a leader in virtualization and cloud solutions, learned that one in six companies lose data at least twice a year because attempts at recovery fail.

Downtime also deals a blow to a company’s reputation, eroding the trust of customers and clients.

Companies aren’t taking the availability gap lying down. Veeam discovered that 78% of organizations plan to rework their availability strategy in the next 2 years.

Availability Solution Mistakes of the Past

Companies that lack high availability suffer from a range of flaws in their business continuity strategy. Some organizations use a backup and recovery strategy that relies on many solutions from different vendors. These unintegrated solutions lack the visibility needed to monitor backups.

Some companies fail to test backups regularly to ensure that they can recover quickly and successfully after an outage. Backup windows may be so large that granular recovery becomes impossible, resulting in the loss of large volumes of information.

Other organizations may rely on their on-premises backup, creating the risk of losing files if their primary data center is disabled by a fire, flood, or blizzard.  A ransomware attack that deletes your on-site backup files can put your company out of commission for days, leaving clients and customers in the lurch.

Survival of the Fittest

Like biological organisms, companies need to evolve to survive. Environmental challenges such as breaches, outages, equipment failure, and natural disasters create the need for more robust and responsive availability solutions. Companies that adapt to changing conditions will not only survive but also thrive under demanding conditions.

Virtualized on-premises or off-site backup and recovery reduces downtime and protects valuable data. The cloud provides geographical diversity, reducing the chance of your backup files being affected by a widespread outage or natural disaster. With cloud backup, you can achieve your recovery-time objectives through automatic failover.

Cutting-edge backup and recovery strategies use all-in-one, vendor-agnostic solutions. Integrated solutions offer monitoring and reporting so you gain full visibility into the success of your backups and can track your rate of failure.

Making Evolutionary Progress

If your company lacks confidence in its ability to maintain availability in the face of risk, now is the time to evolve. Turning to virtualization and the cloud for backup and recovery eliminates many of the weaknesses that make avoiding an outage -- or bouncing back from one -- difficult.

FirstLight can work with your company to increase your level of availability. FirstLight partners with Veeam to provide backup and recovery as a service (BRaaS) with Veeam Cloud Connect.

Our availability solutions are comprehensive, affordable, and offered at predictable monthly rates. As your backup and recovery requirements change, you can easily scale and adapt. FirstLight’s extensive redundant fiber optic network enhances the reliability and speed of Veeam backup and recovery solutions.

Is your availability solution a dinosaur? Evolve with FirstLight.